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Basic Information
Video Game
[[Argonaut Software]][[Category:Argonaut Software]]
[[Mud Duck Productions (PS2]][[Category:Mud Duck Productions (PS2]], [[Xbox) (NA)
Evolved Games (PS2]][[Category:Xbox) (NA)
Evolved Games (PS2]], [[Xbox) (EU)
Zoo Digital Publishing (PC) (EU)
]][[Category:Xbox) (EU)
Zoo Digital Publishing (PC) (EU)
PC, PlayStation 2 and Xbox
ESRB: Teen
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Steam | Xbox Live

Powerdrome is a futuristic racing game by Michael Powell. Players race jet-engined, anti-gravity bikes called 'blades' around closed tracks; in a manner followed by games such as F-Zero and Wipeout.

Original[edit | edit source]

Powerdrome was released on the Atari ST by Electronic Arts in 1988 and includes six tracks, set across five planets. The road-equivalent turning method of yaw is not present, meaning a right turn is achieved by rolling to the right and pitching up.[1] Control is very sensitive but allows use of the mouse for greater accuracy.[2] Gameplay is complicated by the need to equip gas filters to cope with each planet's atmosphere and weather, with further choices to be made over types of fuel.

Control was improved for the Amiga release in 1989 and an extra track made available. A version on the PC in 1990 was soon followed by a re-release on all formats.

Update[edit | edit source]

The update, sometimes marketed as Power Drome, was released 16 years later for the PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC by Argonaut Software, for whom Powell was Studio Head. Venues for racing still only number six, but reverse and mirrored courses bring the total of unique routes to 24. The previous version's customisation was completely dropped in favour of a focus on racing skill.[3]

Released as a budget game, Powerdrome received good reviews, with a few remembering the original and its influence on the futuristic racing genre.[4][5] All were impressed with the smooth sensation of speed and detailed environments, although the music was considered lacklustre and the pilot's voices annoying.

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Timothy Trimble;Apr 19990;Powerdrome Review in Amiga World Vol 6 No 4;pp72] "To make a right turn, roll to the right, then pull back on the yoke, which swings the nose of your racer into the turn."
  2. Mark Higham;(Dec 1988);Powerdrome in ST Amiga Format 6 (Dec 1988);pp 52-53 "This spectacular looking frying pan is about as easy to control as a Lamborghini in the wintry frozen fields of Dartmoor."
  3. Team Xbox "The biggest drawback ... is the complete lack of customizing in the game."
  4. NTSC-UK "the game became an instant cult classic, paving the way for the slew of sci-fi racers that we know today."
  5. GameSpot "When speaking of the genesis of futuristic racing games as we know them ... UK developer Argonaut lays some claim to genre husbandry"