30 Years of Video Games – Test Drive (1987)

I’m waving goodbye to my 20′s and to celebrate I’m counting down 30 games from the last 30 years.  Join me while I countdown 30 great years of game memories.

Test Drive

Before Don Mattrick was Don Mattrick CEO he was Don Mattrick game designer and one of the brains behind Canadian developer Distinctive Software.  You see the man has some serious game design chops and in earning those stripes Don Mattrick the game designer was responsible for some of the best games of the personal computer scene of the 1980’s.  Among those was Test Drive.

Test Drive is one of those games that is immediately appealing.  Driving some of the world’s fastest road cars at full pelt along a cliffside road without any real life repercussions is something young boys and girls dream about at night, and Test Drive came good on that dream.  Racing along a windy road at 200 kmph toward oncoming traffic with police in pursuit was absolutely exhilarating and showed just how impressive of technical feat Test Drive was.  In motion it was simply a head turner and while it saw a release on a number of platforms it was at its most impressive on the Amiga 500.  Across all platforms though the game had a good sense of speed and the fully simulated in-car view, complete with working speedometer and tachometer, made it the closest thing to real driving we’d seen in a game.

Distinctive Software’s custodianship of the Test Drive franchise was lost when it was acquired by Electronic Arts in the early 1990’s.  While publisher Accolade continued on with the series in 1996 it abandoned Test Drive’s focus on realistic driving for the arcade style seen in Test Drive 4.


Have a favourite game from 1987?  Tell us in the comments below.  Don’t forget to come back soon for the next game in our countdown.  Miss a year?  Catch up below.

1986 – 1985 – 1984 – 1983