[Review] Grand Prix Circuit

Grand Prix Circuit

REVIEW # 00000000 00011100

When Formula 1 was still a Sport, the gaming industry didn’t have the skills t produce hyper-realistic games and also the graphics couldn’t be so detailed. However, il those times when Formula 1 was a sport, there was the possibility for a talented driver to reach the podium maybe becasue somebody else retired or made a mistake while tryng to overtake. So basically F1 was a bit a “dirty sport” where (almost) anything could happened. It was also possible for a young company as Accolade to release a good game, even if not so detailed and so perfect and so they published Grand Prix Circuit.

My heart says…


This was my first Formula 1 game of which I still remember the floppy disk reminding me to use the EGA display and not CGA or Tandy (the VGA still was a dream…). So being a F1 enthusiast this was my only hope to emulate driver such as Prost, Mansell or Piquet. And beigh them top-tier driver, for me, sitting on my chait having the driver POV while racing onto the world most famous circuits was quite a dream.

Splash screen


The first screens of the game we see are quite “classic”. However he developers did their best on the game cover: the sexy girl straigh from the Eightes with thos yellow glasses it’s one of the biggest lies in games cover history but we have to say that it was impossible in 1987 (so with late eighties means) for a company to sell a product of  the same level of the cover, so all the pictures were a bit a lies. By twe way the Amiga version of the game has the most colouful palette among all the versions and the proper splash screen with the Accolade branded McLaren it’s quite an image!

Grand Prix Circuit Splash

Grand Prix Circuit Menu



Regarding the menu there’s nothing to say but during the game, the graphics lacks a bit. Especially the opponents’ cars are quite strange: they seem like large but skinny F1 cars with kart wheels. I don’t think it could have been a big issue to draw them better.

Grand Prix Circuit 4



Nothing to say…



The games features three different game modes, three cars and 8 circuits.

You can choose to practice with your car, challenge the opponents in a single race or run for the championship. There cars available are Ferrari 187/88C, the slowest but with good handling (and the one with a 5 speed-gear), McLaren MP4/4, a good compromise, and Williams FT, the most powerful, but difficult to trive.

We can chose among 5 difficulty levels from Beginner to Pro where in Pro you have to be careful of everything, especially to stay inside the track limits or your car will be full on grass and not to hit the other 9 opponents. In Pro level you’ll have manual gearbox, so you have to be careful not to fail to shift otheriwise your engine will become like a thanksgiving turkey. I have to say that even if Grand Prix Circuit is a simple game, the realism is good.

The eight circuits are Jacarepaguá in Brazil, Monaco, Gilles Villeneuve in Canada, Detroit in the USA, Silverstone in UK, Hockenheim in Germany, Monza in Italy and Suzuka in Japan.

You will race with driver POV so basically you will se the track changing direction and the opponents chasing you from the mirrors and you can also choose the number of laps to race.

Let’s say for 1989 it’s quite a lot!

Grand Prix Circuit 3

Grand Prix Circuit 2

Grand Prix Circuit 1



The sound is so 8-bit style it seems a 4-bit sound, but in the end is not so bad. The intro music is captivating and even if during the race you cannot hear the sound of opponents’ engine that’s ok. It’s good to hear at least yours…



Virtually the longevity is high since every race is differente bur being a bit poor on sound and graphics after a while you’ll be a bit bored from GPC unless you aren’t a F1 fanatic (and especially an old games fanatic…). Nice to play for a while though.

Final Score 71/100

Year: 1987

Developer: Random Access, Distinctive Software

Publisher: Accolade

Genre: Racing

Games Mode: Single Player

Original Platform: Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, MS-DOS

From same editors:

  • Test Drive (1987, Distinctive Software)
  • 4D Sports Tennis (1990, Distinctive Software)
  • 4D Sports Boxing (1991, Distinctive Software)
  • Mario Andretti’s Racing Challenge (1991, Distinctive Software)

From same publishers:

  • HardBall! (1985) e seguiti
  • Test Drive (1987) e seguiti
  • Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (1990) e seguiti
  • Turrican (1990)
  • The Games: Winter Challenge (1991)

Inspired to:

If you liked you can also try:

  • Super Monaco GP (1989)
  • Nigel Mansell’s World Championship Racing (1992)

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11 Comments Add yours

  1. Rei says:

    I just saw the image and the sound of the car just played in my head and then the game over theme because i was so good in this game I had to lose just to check the game over theme … true story

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      Unfortunately there’s no online multiplayer version to start a challenge…;)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Rei says:

        yes sadly XD

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sìììì lo ricordo bene, ci ho giocato per un po’: giusto un po’ perché coi tasti del PC non riuscivo proprio a guidare bene 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      Sì in effetti dovendo usare solo le frecce direzionali era un po’ un casino. Con un controller tipo Playstation viene molto meglio…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember having the F1 Race game cartridge for the original Gameboy as a kid. Listening to you talk about this game and seeing the screenshots took me back to my early childhood… games have a way of connecting us to our past selves and remembering things we’d long forgotten.
    I enjoy your blog’s emphasis on retro gaming Benez. Don’t stop writing man!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      Thanks Joe for the nice words! I would like to have more time to write (an to inprove english as well…). I had a similar game for one of those handheld consoles whch was fashionable in the early 90’s (sadly not a GameBoy) and I have fond memories of it.
      You’re right there are only a few things that can connect yourself to the childhood such as the video games and the old movies. Which are actually the two subjects of my blogs 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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