Well... it plays fast and involves propellers.
Turbo Prop Racing, a year old boat racing game from Europe, has just been recently released in the US. Although it's hard to figure out why they didn't release it earlier in the states; the game is a solid racing game that offers hi-resolution graphics at 60 frames per second. And besides being beautiful it is one of the most fun and challenging racing games on the PlayStation.
Any true racing fan should check it out.
Turbo Prop Racing is a hard game. With possibly the steepest learning curve since Gran Turismo, Turbo Prop takes a while to master. Overcoming the physics associated with driving a boat over choppy water can actually be considered harder than mastering the driving of a car - and not many people have experience racing boats.
Once you do figure out how to control the boats, Turbo Prop has one of the most precise, hard to master driving systems of all games in racing history - which adds leaps and bounds to its fun factor. The analog control is smooth and brilliant.
Graphics in Turbo Prop are sparse, but fast. You'll hardly notice the scrolling and bumpy water or the landscapes around the tracks because of the breakneck speed at which you navigate them. Slowdown never occurs, even with 12 other boats on the screen, generating immense excitement as you power around the tracks.
The sound effects work well and the bumping techno/rock tracks sound great. And speaking of tracks...
There are many tracks indeed, race courses that is. Well, there are truly only 6 preset tracks, but you can race them in various different modes - night, mirrored, and night mirrored. Surprisingly, the amount of variety generated just from those simple changes makes the single player game worth going through.
However, the absolutely best and most innovative feature in Turbo Prop (or any racing game I have seen in a long time) is that courses can be generated by fractal equations. What does that mean? Based on a random number, Turbo Prop will create a brand new course. At this point you have unlimited courses - sure, some may suck, but the ability to create a course at your whim is incredible. Every future racing game should include this feature.
The item system is reminiscent of a simpler version of Super Mario Kart, using three different kinds of power-ups - boost, slow down, and bonus. You want to pick up the boosts to go faster and you want to avoid the slow down items to keep your pace. If you pick up five bonus power-ups, you are rewarded with a bonus level that allows you to open up new boats. This simple system is extremely effective - easy to use, but difficult to master.
Turbo Prop Racing is by far one of the best racing games on the PlayStation. It doesn't quite outclass Gran Turismo in terms of presentation, but it provides a lot of fun for a long period of time. And with the fractal course generator, the game will last for ages. Don't let the difficulty scare you away either, if you give it a couple of hours you should be able to beat any race the computer throws at you. Truly, one of the best games on the PlayStation.