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Posted: Jul 24, 1992 @ 11:21 am GMT-0600
Updated: Feb 16, 2023 @ 02:38 pm GMT-0600
Sorting Tags: Article Review, Article Software, Articles, Formula One Grand Prix, News - MicroProse,

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This review was published in Computer Gaming World in July, 1992. Read more.

Sanchez crosses the start/finish line in 6th gear at 174 mph and begins his circuit of Silverstone. The pit lane flashes by on the right, grandstand to the left as Sanchez downshifts to 4th for the right hander, Copse. Then, accelerating briskly away, Sanchez darts through Maggots in 5th, braking for the 2nd gear jink of Becketts and sweeping right into Chapel. Then, through the gears, 3rd, 4th, 5th up to 6th and 180 mph down the Hanger Straight and under the bridge, again breaking sharply down to 100 mph for another right hander, Stowe. He accelerates through The Vale, pulls back briefly into 4th before taking the Club in 3rd and moving onto the fastest part of the course, The Abbey Straight, at 185 mph. 6th gear is maintained through the Farm Straight, under a second bridge and into the slowest part of the course, the left handers, Priory and Brooklands. Sanchez exits Brooklands in 2nd and climbs back up through the gears, 3rd, 4th, 5th through Woodlands at 146 mph and finally up to 6th as he once again crosses the start/finish line.


Formula One is the ultimate in race driving. It is home to the greats of Racing: Fangio, Hill, Moss, Lauda, Stewart, Brabham, Prost, McLaren, Surtees, Senna, Piquet, Andretti, and the greatest of them all, Jimmy Clark. There’s something special about Formula One, the stories and history of men and machine: of Giles Villeneuve, the great Canadian, who was blindingly quick and was either going to be Champion or die trying (and tragically accomplished the latter); the heroism of James Hunt, pulling Ronnie Peterson from a starting grid pileup; or the fighting spirit of Nigel Mansell, pushing his fuel-less car down the final straightaway in Dallas. The vehice names conjure up instant magic: Ferrari, Lotus, McLaren, and a host of others who have passed through Formula One history. The circuits themselves provide a multitude of memories: Monte-Carlo, Silverstone, Monza and Imola. That’s a lot to live up to and World Circuit, from Microprose, is the latest in the field and has grabbed the pole position in qualifying.

Warm Up Lap

The quality and content that we have come to expect in Microprose products is self-evident. A fact-filled 168 page manual is the basis of a detailed product. Clear, concise instructions are provided, along with full details concerning the 16 circuits featured in the game, last years teams and driving hints. A non-Championship Race is recommended before throwing yourself into the fray of a 16 circuit season.

This is a product that exudes quality. The polygon graphics and sound are excellent. For those users using floppy disks, disk swapping is kept to a minimum and none are needed during the race, even in Camera mode. World Circuit provides five levels of play from rookie to ace. Driver aids such as Indestructibility, Best Line, Self Righting Spins and Auto Brakes are available. This reviewer recommends switching off indestructibility as soon as possible, as this only encourages “Destruction Derby” type tactics.

The Circuits

As noted earlier, 16 circuits are provided with World Circuit. The contrasts are enormous. Spa-Francorchamps is in the heart of a Belgium forest, while Phoenix provides an urban jungle. Each circuit drives very differently and one’s situation within a race will also determine the “feel” of a course. Naturally, concentrating on the exhaust pipe of a driver in front will cause one to be oblivious as the surrounding course flies by.

Phoenix is the first course encountered in the Championship Season. Passing opportunities are limited and speeds remain reasonably low. It is a good course on which to learn patience and it is hard to make mistakes. The Interlagos Circuit in Brazil is second. The long start/finish straight allows cars at the back of the grid to charge forward. It is an excellent course to practice on, as qualifying mistakes can be recovered. Two words of caution, the first corner, Curva 1, is quite easy to spin in, and not just the player. More than once, this reviewer was leading a race only to come upon an accident without warning. As a result, a hearty cry of ‘Ramming Speed’ was the only resort remaining. Imola comes up third, and is just waiting for the over confident player (and reviewer!). The most difficult section of track in the entire game resides at Imola. The Acque Minerale chicane has a tendency to spin out an aggressive driver as the back end clips the curb. This corner should be taken from wide on the left.

Each of the other 13 circuits provides variety and spice. Monaco, demands a good qualifying time as passing is next to impossible (try the tunnel); the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit in Montreal provides long fast straights and sweeping corners; Mexico City is the easiest course in the game and allows players to race from the back of the grid and still allow the player should be able to win comfortably; and Adelaide has significant hills and valleys that add to the visual delight.

Handling Problems

The options presented in the game are too numerous to mention. Car Set-Up, Tire Choice, Wet Weather and more are available. Yet, they also presented the only negative with this product. The user does not need them.

World Circuit is just a little too easy, even at Ace level. The Nigel Mansell school of driving, foot to the floor until the car breaks or wins, is well rewarded. While this may be appropriate, considering Mansell’s dominance this year in Formula One this year, a more challenging Ace level would have significantly enhanced this product.

Yet, readers are urged not to believe that this diminishes the level of competition provided within the program. My most enjoyable race was starting at the back of the grid at Monaco and making it into the points. With two laps to go, the 6th placed car was in sight and it took the two fastest laps of the day, and some outrageous braking, to catch that car on the final corner.

Checkered Flag

The statistical portion of World Circuit is also impressive. At the end of a Championship Race, a complete statistical overview of the race and the season is available. Race finishing times, fastest lap times, driver race points, constructor race points, driver’s championship table, constructors championship and season results are all options. No real-life drivers or teams are named, but editing is possible.


Even after a number of years, Electronic Arts’ Indianapolis 500: The Simulation remains the standard by which all Auto Racing games must be judged. Certain items such as the Camera function remain the domain of Indy 500. However, the game play of World Circuit is without comparison. World Circuit is a winner, going away at the finish.

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