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Route 66

Author: p13z Machine Type: Spectrum 48K
Submitted on: 7th of September, 2020 Download or play online

With you-know-what putting the brakes on the vast majority of journeys, we once again turn to technology to fill the gap. How lucky we are that p13z has sent us an entry that fits the bill: a driving simulator called Route 66. Here’s the email that I was sent for this game:

Presenting to you a milestone in sandbox gaming technology.
Live the dream that few get to achieve, from the comfort of your ZX Spectrum.
Yes, my friend, you can experience the thrill of the open road from Los Angeles to Chicago, in your sports car, on the legendary route 66.
All 2,448 miles of it, no less.
Buckle up, and prepare for the 30 hour ride-of-your-life.

Loading up the game, we get an idyllic view of the setting sun, with the road at the bottom and some incredible parallax scrolling effects on the mountains and the road markings. Our cyan car rolls down the freeway, with the warm American breeze blowing gently past it. Just 2448 miles to Chicago!...

...4 down, 2444 to go...

...are we there yet? No...



...okay, how much actual gameplay is there? Well, you might be surprised to learn that the answer is “some”. You can switch lanes using Q and A, and... that’s it.

So, this game is beautiful but bland – wait out the entire journey from LA to Chicago and you get a flashing message notifying you that you’ve reached your destination (no, I didn’t wait it out like a mentalist – I inspected the listing). So that’s the gameplay department shot. How about the sound? Only at the end, and even then it’s just BEEP RND*1, RND*30, so there’s nothing of merit to note. The innovation factor is pretty low as well, as this style of game was pioneered with Pen & Teller’s Desert Bus in 1995. Nevertheless, I must give credit where credit is due to p13z, for changing it from a first-person experience to a side-scroller.

In conclusion, Route 66 certainly provides you the “ride-of-your-life” as advertised – one will rarely have such an opportunity to stare with bloodshot eyes at a UDG sports car trundling towards the Midwest.

P.S.: I ran the maths on the car’s speed, and determined that it was travelling at 94mph! Maybe that’s an idea for the sequel – drive Route 66 whilst getting chased by the cops.


Graphics Sound Gameplay Innovation TOTAL
52% 7% 15% 13% 22%