STORY / GAMEPLAY
As in all racing games, the main purpose is to win each race. VROOM! has six circuits to race but you must first define a few game characteristics. Before you race you must decide which mode you want to play. There are three modes available: Arcade, Racing and Training. VROOM is originally an arcade racer, but you can play it as a Formula 1 simulator as well.
ARCADE MODE: On the arcade mode the objective is to overtake a set number of computer controlled cars. These are shown at the game's info area as green cars and as long as you reach the red ones, then you are about to win the race. If you fail to do so, the game ends, otherwise you'll progress onto the next of the six circuits. In this mode you can select which circuit to race and how many laps each race will last.
RACING MODE: The racing mode is a world championship tour and the aim is to gain as many points as possible, by finishing the race in the top six.
TRAINING MODE: As its name says, in this mode you can freely run a circuit to train your driving skills and test your car.
Before any race, manual or automatic gears can be selected and I think the manual gears selection is the most fun to play! The opponent cars have a good AI although they cause all sorts of havoc sometimes as they tend to drive slowly and, since VROOM is ultrafast, you may easily crash onto the other cars or onto any other obstacle of the circuits. A collision with any of the aforementioned will result in a nasty crash that will take the car a number of seconds to recover and will also decrease you car's performance and gripping capabilities. When taking too much damage or when your fuel is close to depletion, you have to take a pit-stop to rectify the problems, refuel or even change your tires if necessary! The control system is pure and very responsive. The direction of the joystick up or down accelerates or decelerates the car whilst hitting the fire button and pulling back or forth the joystick will switch the (manual) gears. Switch down to a lower gear too quickly and the engine will lose torque with the possibility to eventually blow up!
One other great feature of this game is the option to link two computers via serial ports and race head to head with a friend! You can connect two Amigas or two Ataris or even an Amiga with an Atari(!) VROOM is definitely one of the best arcade racing games ever developed for these two 16bit home computers!
The graphics on the Amiga are great, the animation extremely smooth and the races breathtakingly fast! Note that the visuals between the Atari ST and the Amiga are identical since the latter is a port from the former. VROOM has regular bitmap graphics rather than vectors (e.g. like the visuals from Microprose's Formula One Grand Prix). Each track is a typical roller coaster affair, surrounded by lamp posts, trees, road signs, advertisement panels etc. The computer opponents look and run so cool and have a fair degree of AI. The hills and hollows are incredibly realistic but the other visual details on the backgrounds are nothing special. Overall, VROOM looks and plays absolutely great! Apart from its top visuals, VROOM! has equally impressive sound with a wide range of high quality sampled sound effects like engine, crash, wheel spin, braking sounds and more!