Platforms: PC
Publisher: Codemasters
Developer: Invictus Games
Genres: Racing / Off-Road & Stunt
Release Date: February 5, 2001
Game Modes: Singleplayer / Multiplayer

With racing games like 4×4 Evolution or Midtown Madness making the rounds, a little gem from Codemasters called 1NSANE could well slip through the cracks. Though an ealy entry in a long line of European imports, this is a game that serious off-road fans shouldn’t overlook. The game easily earns its immigration papers by sporting a sexier, user-friendlier spin on off-road romping.

Snap82While a realistically plausible learning curve lurks in the shadows, you won’t find championship competitions or quick races monkey-wrenched by an overwhelming attention to detail. Gameplay is classic arcade style zaniness; drivers wrestle for control of flags, rush through checkpoints, or smash into each other mercilessly. The physics model also follows this train of thought, with fun squarely touted above realism. Although all vehicles feature unique handling attributes, they slip, slide, roll over, and crumple like home console roadsters.

Quality craftsmanship also shines within the title’s architecture. In solo mode, a grid full of themed contests beckons lone road warriors. Completing an initial trial opens more play variations and locales for your enjoyment. You score points by placing in events; once a high enough tally is racked up, you graduate into another class of challenges and unlock new cars.

Snap79Impressive foundation aside, 1NSANE is not without flaws. Rivals don’t have the sharpest AI, merely following humans and making themselves bothersome. Even novices can tear through the singleplayer experience in no time flat as well. What’s more, the underlying gameplay is somewhat simplistic, in part because of its nearly boundless layout. Every mode is a minor variation on basic capture the flag, gate hunt, or checkpoint race building blocks. Plus the tracks are painfully barren as they are large and open-ended. A bush here, a rock there, but nothing really eye-catching.

Various minor nitpicking notwithstanding; 1NSANE is one mean off-road racer. Limitations and all, this quaint import from an obscure European developer has more than it takes to compete with its more famous peers.

System Requirements: Pentium II 233 Mhz, 64 MB RAM, 540 MB HDD, Windows 98

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  1. Rimantas says:

    Old PC Gaming, I would like to see your review for “Toon Car: The Great Race” developer – Revistronic, year 2001. I have original CD for many years and that game is really fun, funny and i would say original.

  2. prenex says:

    One can know from the movie – https://moleman4.com/ – that this is actually made on top of an idea a one-person game “terep2” inspired. Both this and that game is Hungarian-made and on your very last screenshot you actually see a rerence to the older game from 1996 🙂

    The story behind this all is that Nagy Máté Dénes wanted to create an off-road game in 1996 based on physics and also wrecking of the cars which were both quite unique at the time. He wrote terep1 and terep2 in x86 assembly to demonstrate abilities of the algorithms and wanted to make them into a game to sell. He have shown a version of it to his friends and told them “not to show it anyone else” but someone have shown it and in no time it was a warez version in every school of Hungary 😀 😀 😀

    Dénes never made terep2 into a full-fledged game but later was asked to join the Hungarian company Invictus games and do physics and other engine programming there so it still made his fortune and he is never angry that the original game got stolen.

    You can download the megapack here – it works with split screen on a 486 machine:

    Gameplay footage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOWAk5zMKzY

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