|Min OS X: 10.6|
Mac OS X: 10.6.6 | CPU: Intel Processor
Driving Simulators have never really come to the Mac platform in large numbers. Major titles such as Gran Turismo and Forza are laser focused on the console platform rather then the much larger PC based market. This is mainly due to the higher graphics performance seen on the powerful consoles, such as the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3. Because of this there are only a few great driving simulators available on the Mac. This is where Auto Sport Driving attempts to step in. It is an independent effort by Siniscope to create a track day driving simulator for the Mac. Can this small team of developers stand up to the current competition?
As I mentioned previously, because this game is on a platform which varies in performance from user to user, rather then a standard platform like the consoles, the development of Auto Sport Driving was designed to reach a broader spectrum of users. In other words, the graphics arenít as spectacular as they could be. What you see is probably more akin to the Playstation 2 era. The graphics aren't bad, they're just not up to scratch when compared to today's driving simulators, or even to other games on the Mac platform. Perhaps a future version of the game will offer some enhancements in the eye candy department.
Another area which I feel has suffered is in sound effects. Again, much like the graphics, they are not terrible, they just really give a sense that this is an indie title. The bare essentials are there such as the tire squealing, the engine and car colliding noises. But it doesnít go further. It would be great if you could hear applause and cheering as you scream past the crowd, but again, itís not there. There is definitely room for improvement in this area. I hope updates in the coming months will include a broader audio experience.
Controls / Tutorial:
The controls are a little difficult to get used to at first, but after a while they become natural to the user. The tutorial on the other hand, or rather lack of it, can make a novice player's experience daunting. As I mentioned in the introduction this game is a track day driving simulator. Many people who are not exposed to how track days work may be a little confused. I found that you can be stuck in the practice laps if you donít know what you are doing. Also, you can get disqualified or ďblack flaggedĒ by going in reverse in the pit and have no idea what to do. It seems that the inclusion of a tutorial level for people to start off in, or at least a help dialog, would remove this barrier to entry for the majority of consumers and make the game blossom into something greater.
WIth the presentation level of a game from the early 2000ís you would have to think that all the effort must have gone into the gameplay. And you would be right. The game is very focused on the race track experience and it does a fantastic job at that. Even with the serious undertone, it's still a lot of fun to play. I personally love racing games and this deserves high praise for its ability to remain fun. All too often driving simulators tend to be a bit boring and too serious for a video game experience. Itís like the game is trying to prove that it is more than a silly kart racer. Thankfully, Auto Sport Driving doesnít suffer from this.