|Release||1988 (Atari ST)
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
Powerdrome is a 1988 futuristic racing game by Michael Powell released on the Atari ST and published by Electronic Arts. Players race jet-engined, anti-gravity bikes called 'blades' around closed tracks. Ports for Amiga and MS-DOS were released in 1989 and 1990 respectively. A remake was released in 2004.
The game includes six tracks, set across five planets. The road-equivalent turning method of yaw is not present, meaning a right turn is achieved by rolling to the right and pitching up. Control is very sensitive but allows use of the mouse for greater accuracy. Gameplay is complicated by the need to equip gas filters to cope with each planet's atmosphere and weather, with further choices to be made over types of fuel.
Released as a budget game, Powerdrome received good reviews, with a few remembering the original and its influence on the futuristic racing genre. All were impressed with the smooth sensation of speed and detailed environments, although the music was considered lackluster and the pilots' voices annoying.
A remake known as Power Drome was released for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox in June 2004. A PC version was released in August 2005 only in Europe. It was developed by Argonaut Sheffield, for whom Powell was studio head. Mud Duck Productions published the game in North America, Evolved Games in Europe and the PC version was published by Zoo Digital Publishing. Venues for racing still only number six, but reverse and mirrored courses bring the total of unique routes to 24. The previous version's customisation was completely dropped in favour of a focus on racing skill.
- Timothy Trimble;Apr 19990;Powerdrome Review in Amiga World Vol 6 No 4;pp72] "To make a right turn, roll to the right, then pull back on the yoke, which swings the nose of your racer into the turn."
- Mark Higham;(Dec 1988);Powerdrome in ST Amiga Format 6 (Dec 1988);pp 52-53 "This spectacular looking frying pan is about as easy to control as a Lamborghini in the wintry frozen fields of Dartmoor."
- NTSC-UK "the game became an instant cult classic, paving the way for the slew of sci-fi racers that we know today."
- GameSpot "When speaking of the genesis of futuristic racing games as we know them ... UK developer Argonaut lays some claim to genre husbandry"
- Team Xbox "The biggest drawback ... is the complete lack of customizing in the game."