Street Rod is California Dreams's masterpiece and one of the very best racing games ever made for the PC. What set the game apart from other racing games of the era (and even now) is the addition of game world: instead of letting you pick a car, then drive it in various tournaments, the game lets you live the life of a street rod lover in the '70s. Instead of winning the championship, your goal is beat the King and his black '63 Corvette. You can only afford an old car at the start, but as you win races, you will gradually be able to upgrade into better components and cars. |
The car customization screen in Street Rod is undoubtedly the game's best feature, and one that hasn't been duplicated successfully since. You can replace engine and transmission, chop your roof for that open-air look, and strip the bumpers. You can even change the decals and color to personalize your hot rod. After you find an opponent (from hanging out in front of a local fast food joint), the view shifts to a standard first-person view, with very good level of detail that rivals Accolade's Test Drive. You can drive a drag race or Mulholland race (along LA's famed scenic road of the same name), for money or with your car as the stake.
The only "weak" point in the game, and this depends on personal preferences, is the fact that most races are very easy, and the King himself is not hard to beat. This obviously makes the game ideal for beginners, but experts will be able to finish it in a few sittings. The excellent customization options and solid gameplay more than make up for this, though, and make Street Rod one of the few racing games that you can play over and over again without getting bored. If you are a racing enthusiast looking for something different from your run-of-the-mill F1 games, Street Rod is a must-have.
Note: the links below are for a Street Rod revival project that never got far into alpha even, due to various problems. Included for historical reference.
Reviewed by: Underdogs