Test Drive III: The Passion

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Test Drive III: The Passion
Test Drive III - The Passion cover.jpg
Producer(s)Sam Nelson
Designer(s)Tom Loughry
Artist(s)Justin R. Chin
Roseann Mitchell
Composer(s)Russell Shiffer
SeriesTest Drive
Genre(s)Racing, simulation
Mode(s)Single-player (1–4 players, one at a time, same computer)

Test Drive III: The Passion is a racing video game developed and published by Accolade in 1990 for MS-DOS. It is the third game in the Test Drive series. While the first two Test Drive titles were developed by Distinctive Software, the third one was developed in-house at Accolade. This resulted in many differences over the first two games.[1]


The game was radically different from the previous two installments by abandoning sprite graphics and using a combination of bitmapped and polygon-fill 3D graphics, and digitized car interiors instead. Unlike the previous games, it was available exclusively for DOS. Gameplay includes joystick and keyboard support as well as multiple viewpoints and replay options.

Racing options include nine skill levels, head-to-head competition against two computer-controlled drivers, time trials against the clock, and race against 1–3 other players, one at a time, on the same computer. The test course, situated in Northern California from Pacific Coast to Yosemite National Park, consists of five distinct sections (Scenic Coast, Coast Hills, Valley Farms, Foothills, and Sierra Vista) featuring varied landscapes.

The game had the concept of a free landscape; the player did not have to drive on a preset course. Each section contained alternate routes and shortcuts for reaching the finish line and the player could go wherever they want, i.e. drive off the road and onto the grass, hills, farms etc. The landscape included features such as bridges, tunnels, water, hills and mountains. It also featured railroad crossings with a real train running in a loop. The player would also have to watch out for the speed limit when a police car was in sight, otherwise he could get caught and fined.[1]

Changeable radio stations, windscreen wipers, headlights, and varying weather conditions and times of day were featured in this game. The game shipped with three cars to drive; the Lamborghini Diablo, Ferrari Mythos Pininfarina Concept, and the Chevrolet Corvette CERV III Concept.

An add-on package, Road & Car, was available as an extra purchase, featuring a New England road course from Cape Cod to Niagara Falls, and the Acura NSX and Dodge Stealth R/T Turbo cars. It allowed the player to combine vehicles and landscapes from both the original game and the add-on for variety.[2]


Computer Gaming World stated that Test Drive III: The Passion, while not spectacular, was a fine driving simulator and "a well-designed package".[3] The magazine praised the Road & Car expansion's New England scenery and automobile reproductions, and stated that it provided "more of the same, with a slightly different angle" to the original game.[2]


  1. ^ a b "The DOS Gaming Scholar: Test Drive III: The Passion". Retrieved 2012-10-19.
  2. ^ a b Kawamoto, Wayne N. (June 1991). "Another Day at the Races". Computer Gaming World. p. 88. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  3. ^ Wilson, David M. (April 1991). "A Passionate Tryst with Speed". Computer Gaming World. p. 51. Retrieved 17 November 2013.

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