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September 8, 1997

Entertainment

Computer Game Review

by Rick Brewster
   POD
   My first impression of POD was one of pure amazement. Running on a system with a 3Dfx Voodoo card, the graphics were smooth running and beautiful. The framerate was well into the 40s and 50s. Unfortunately, without a 3Dfx card the graphics aren't anything special. However, even on the minimum spec system, a Pentium 100, it still runs at a respectable framerate.
  
   There are a LOT of tracks to play. Sixteen tracks are included with the option to download (currently) fourteen more. Eight cars are built-in and you can download x more. The quality of all the downloads varies -- many are far superior to the "originals" while some of the tracks are terrible maze-like things.
  
   The built-in tracks aren't terribly spectacular, however several of the downloadable tracks are awesome. I personally reccomend downloading "Loon," "Skyrace," "Sewer," and "ZED." These are great tracks with a lot of crazy happenings.
  
   Unfortunately, there's a couple of snags that POD runs into. While it is a beautiful 3Dfx game, it just doesn't go very fast. The cars seem to be going 50MPH when it says 150, and they don't accelerate well, if at all when driving up even the slightest incline. Some of the tracks, as mentioned before, are terrible and unnecessary mazes, and when the other cars just zip up ahead of you leaving you in the dust, you have no clue as to where to go.
  
   Now, many of you people without a 3Dfx card (which is most people) probably want to know how it runs on YOUR system. All I will say is the graphics aren't very interesting but they do run at a respectable framerate. In other words, if you have the minimum Pentium 100, you will be able to play it decently.
  
   In the end, POD is an interesting game. I can't reccomend this game to people without a 3Dfx graphics card, because then half of the point of the game (good graphics and smooth framerate) is gone. If you DO happen to have a 3Dfx, then this is a game you should consider, even if only to see your Playstation and Nintendo 64 owning friends drool all over your PC's keyboard.
  
   Created by: UbiSoft Entertainment, http://www.ubisoft.com
   Publisher: UbiSoft Entertainment
   Category: Arcade Racing
   Price: $40
   System Requirements: Pentium 100, 16MB RAM, 4X CD-ROM, Win95, 16-bit sound card, 20MB Hard drive space
   What you really need: 3Dfx Voodoo based 3D Accelerator HIGHLY reccomended or Pentium 166; 80MB Hard drive space
   Highs:
gorgeous graphics; a lot of tracks and cars to choose from
   Lows: the cars are too slow; some tracks very annoying
   Content Rating: PG for explosions and damage to realistic objects
   Star Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5 stars
   Next week's review: Shadow Warrior, http://www.3drealms.com
  
   Special Note: Outlaws, a game reviewed previously, has a new version! Not just a minor bug fix, version 2.0 of Outlaws, entitled "Hand Full of Missions" includes nine new missions for the retail game. This free 5MB download is available at http://www.lucasarts.com.