Viper Racing

Viper Racing
Platforms: PC
Publisher: Sierra On-Line
Developer: Monster Games
Genres: Racing / Racing Simulation
Release Date: 1998
Game Modes: Singlepalyer / Multiplayer

Snap10Based solely around the fire-breathing V-10 powered Dodge Viper, Viper Racing doesn’t use any real-world tracks. The modest eight included tracks range from good to bland. There are a couple of niceties thrown in for variety, but most are street or road courses littered with superfluous trackside objects like light poles, park benches and trees that do little but reinforce the more arcade aspects of the game. And with only one car model available, there’s not much pressure in finding the best vehicle to race with.

If the tracks aren’t particularly exciting, the actual handling of the vehicles compensates. The “arcade” mode produces the most satisfying handling, allowing you to toss the car around with wild abandon while retaining its feelings for over and understeer. This isn’t an arcade game, however. Plenty of tuning options are available, and they have a discernible effect on the balance and handling of the car. And while having only one car does mean less variety, it puts greater emphasis on out-tuning the competition.

Snap5Unlike most games with licensed cars (such as Need for Speed), Viper Racing has a full damage model. Fenders wrinkle, suspension pieces break and you can catch air (too often—no one would design a track where cars would break their suspensions because they get airborne at speed). You can also create staggeringly ugly cars by using the and integrated paint program. A set of templates allows subtle effects like full-body flames, and the high-color artwork means you get to choose from a full palette of colors.

While initial races may leave you unimpressed, digging into Viper Racing reveals a more complex game. In many respects, it’s more complex than your standard NFS arcade racer, if not quite as fun overall.

System Requirements: Pentium 133 MHz, 32 MB RAM, Win95

Tags: Viper Racing PC Game Review


  1. Bellem says:

    I bought this game when it was new because I loved the realistic damage and physics modeling, two features that no other car racing game had at the time (with the possible exception of Grand Prix Legends). However, with just one car and only a couple of tracks to choose from, you’ll be bored within an hour. This game had so much potential and could have been a smash hit if the developers had simply added more cars, more tracks, a championship mode, and a really great music soundtrack using licensed songs. As it stands, this game seems unfinished and feels like a playable demo. Also, just like GPL, you really need a steering wheel controller to enjoy the game. Trying to drive at high speeds using only a gamepad, joystick, or keyboard gets frustrating really quickly, even on arcade mode.

  2. Thrackerzod says:

    Be sure to install the unofficial 1.2.4 patch, the cars look much better and have nice spoilers, it fixes the crackling sound if you have that issue, and other improvements. You can also use the -nocanary command line argument to disable the CD check and play without the disk.

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