REVIEW by AtariGrub
It's 2008 and nuclear war has devastated the surface of the planet. You are a scientist living in an underground base, where you have been converting your old V8 car with full radiation shielding and a turbo charged engine. However, on your first test drive on the irradiated surface, your home base warns of an imminent strike from a nuclear warhead!
The Last V8 comprises of two levels - above ground and underground. The first has you racing against the clock (55 seconds approximately) in order to get to the entrance to your underground base. The second level is more of a maze, with dead ends and areas of high radiation, which deplete your car's shielding. One of the most difficult and frustrating features of this game is that you only have 1 life. If you crash into any obstacle, run out of fuel, run out of time (above ground level) or your shields reach zero (underground level) then you have to start from the very beginning. This can be especially tiresome when you've finally completed the first level, only to die in the underground level and then find out that you have to endure the whole of the first level again!
The game itself has simple enough controls. You merely move the joystick in the direction you want to go or in the opposite direction to brake. Strangely the actual play area only takes up around one third of the screen. The middle third of the screen displays Time to Nuclear Detonation, Current Fuel, Shield Status, Distance to Base and various Speed Gauges. While the bottom third has a huge THE LAST V8 sign - just in case you had forgotten which game you were playing!
Obviously, we have to take into consideration the limitations in computer hardware and memory, but I can't help feeling that some kind of on-screen map would have been useful or wider roads. Also, there is only music throughout the game with absolutely no sound effects (or Voice Synthesis, which is misleadingly advertised on the cassette label).
For those of you
who always wanted to complete this game or those that want to try it (with less
frustration), then scroll down for a Map of both levels, plus Infinite Time
and Infinite Shields cheats for use in the Atari800Win Emulator. Overall, this
is a hard game which requires a sharp memory for the road ahead.
"I think the battery's dead..."
Try to go as fast as you can on straight sections of road, but brake when nearing bends in the road, as turning safely at speed is near impossible.
In the Underground
Level, try and find the route to Sci-Fi Base, which involves entering the least
number of Radiation Areas. These areas need to be driven through quickly to
avoid depleting too much of your Radiation Shield.
CLICK HERE to Download an Infinite Time file for use in the Atari 800Win Emulator.
CLICK HERE to Download an Infinite Radiation Shield file for use in the Atari 800Win Emulator.
(Diagrams, animations and text illustrate how a V8 engine works!)