Nascar Heat

Developer: Monster Games
Publisher: Hasbro Interactive
Platform: PC; PlayStation version October 20; Game Boy Color version October 26
System Requirements (PC): Windows 95/98; Pentium II 233; 32MB RAM; 8X CD-ROM; 60MB hard drive space; Direct 3D video card (4MB AGP); sound card
Rating: 80%
Price: $39.99 / digital culture / software / nascar heat

October 2, 2000
By Howard Wen


Speeding around and around on a circular track doesn't sound like it would make for an exciting game. But Nascar Heat gets you involved with hard-core simulation details that basically put you through stock-car racing school; if you just want to get out on the track and make noise, you can do that too.

Nascar Heat features 19 accurate reproductions of racing venues such as the Daytona International Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway, plus 26 digital versions of real-life Nascar celebs, including Dale Earnhardt, Bobby Labonte and Mark Martin. The AI for these racers is meant to mimic the way the real men handle their cars, so they're tough to beat, even on the "normal" difficulty setting. You can also compete with other players through the Internet or on a Local Area Network.

Take the driver's seat in any one of the cars of these race pros. Each virtual stock car has been designed to handle and look like its real-life counterpart -- often right down to the ad endorsements stickered all over it. If you're feeling creative, build your own car from scratch: A basic drawing program lets you create a custom paint job for your personal stock car. Even better, you can move these image files to your preferred graphics program and back. Likewise, the mechanics of your car -- gear speed, brakes, springs, tire pressure, shocks, even the amount of duct tape covering the grille -- can be tweaked to suit your taste.


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