Screamer

An old school simple arcade racer. Just pick a car and race!

Release Date:

October 1995.

Pros:

As they say in the manual, Screamer is a very simple game. At minimum there are only four keys to use when driving in automatic or six keys for manual. Simple to learn but not necessarily easy to win.

There is a good sense of speed in the game. Not as fast as Burnout 3 or Trackmania: Sunrise but it is still quite fast.

There are six different cars to drive and their handling are noticeably different. They have fictional names, but if you know your cars, they are easily recognisable. When you complete the championship, an extra fictional super-ultra-mega car is unlocked.

Being an old DOS game and loading up so fast on current PCs, Screamer makes a good game to give a quick speed fix if you feel the need for speed and are in a hurry.

The game has the usual, single track racing, championship tournament and time trials, but there are also two other race types. The first one is Cone Carnage, where you try to knock down cones to increase your time limit. The second is Slalom, where you try to drive between cones to increase your time limit.

The game stores the top times for each track and you can view the replay of those races. Completing a normal mode race also shows you a replay of your immediate performance.

There are six different tracks and they are varied and well detailed despite the old graphics. Six tracks is not many but when you complete the championship, all tracks can be raced in reverse! To me that is as good as having twelve tracks.

The music was average racing music to me in the beginning. As I played more, the tunes really grew on me. It gives the fast racing feeling.

Cons:

The game randomly crashes!

It is a bit unfair that when you bump into the AI cars, your speed drops a lot, but when they bump into you, it is as if nothing happened. On the up side, I have seen them stack it a few times, which does slow them down.

There is no denying, the graphics look old.

Allowing to play the tracks in reverse is good, but there are no separate records for the best reverse tracks’ times. What is worse is when you score a best time on a reverse track, it actually saves it in the normal track’s records.

Other Points:

The cover image has a picture of the Lamborghini Countach. Wikipedia also says there is a Lamborghini Countach. But everytime I see the car named Shadow, I swear it is a Lamborghini Diablo!

There is a narrator that yells out updates and wise cracks, but if you do not like it, there is an option to turn him off. Note, if you turn him off, you will not hear the “three, two, one, GO!” either.

There is multiplayer, but I never got the opportunity to try it out.

Biases:

Reviewed GOG.com version of the game.

I really liked Test Drive Unlimited, the original Test Drive, Test Drive 3: The Passion, Need For Speed 2, Need For Speed Hot Pursuit(the old one), Need For Speed High Stakes, Need For Speed Most Wanted, Trackmania: Sunrise, Burnout 3 and Gran Turismo 1-4.

I did not like Need For Speed Underground. I haven’t tried the other Need for Speeds.

I have completed the championship.

DRM:

Screamer is DRM free from GOG.com

Minimum Requirements (as stated on GOG.com):

  • Windows XP or Windows Vista
  • 1 GHz Processor (1.4 GHz recommended)
  • 256MB RAM (512 recommended)
  • 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 7 (compatible with DirectX 9 recommended)
  • Mouse, Keyboard

Computer Played On:

  • Windows 7 64 bit.
  • Intel Core i5 2.3GHz
  • 4Gb RAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 525M 1Gb RAM
  • Conexant SmartAudio with egg speakers or earphones. Or Logitech G35.
  • Graphics settings are set to whatever I feel comfortable with playing on this PC. They are usually not set to the highest settings. All screenshots are taken with my settings.

Handy Tips:

For the GOG.com version of the game, To run setup without it crashing, the file dosboxScreamer_setup.conf must be edited.cycles=max must be changed to cycles=140000 or a number around that range.

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