Days of Thunder NES Review

Days of Thunder (the movie), for those of you who haven’t seen it, is essentially Top Gun in cars. NES fans would be justified to fear the worst if the game followed suit. And my oh my, does the Days of Thunder NES game come close! There are very few good things about this title, although I have to admit that dragging Cole Trickle’s laughable name through the mud was, at times, hilarious. Nascar is kinda boring compared to the likes of rally driving and F1, Days of Thunder (DoT) does it no favours whatsoever.


Days of Thunder NES gameplay

The initial presentation looks quite pretty allowing you to ignore the complete lack of any options in the game.  Cole pulls up in his motorbike and you’re straight into the “action”. Qualifying for the first race kicks off immediately and there is Cole’s disgusting looking yellow and green number on a bland oval track.  Even for 8-bit, the in-game graphics are bang average, with the cars poorly animated and the tracks bland and all exactly the same (including some very interesting palette choices).


The tyres are better on the car, guys
The tyres are better on the car, guys

The car feels like it’s going at 30mph despite the awful speedometer saying different. It’s worse on the corners (curves?) where the large segments and your car sounding like it’s stalling, trick you into thinking everything’s going to come to a halt. The sound on Days of Thunder NES is horrendous even though you are spared the terrible title tune during races. The game is also extremely difficult. At curves, unless you manually brake, A LOT, you go “flying” into the wall greeted with the appropriate naff sound effect.  

Days of Thunder NES bike screen
Outta the way! Trickle is in town.


Cole’s car seems no better than anyone else’s (too accurate!) which means there’s no learning curve whatsoever and overtaking is difficult from the off. This is all a bit of a shame because the career gameplay is a nice idea with messages being conveyed at the bottom of the screen and having to complete time trials to stay in the team if your results are poor.

As with a lot (I’m inclined to say, most) film releases, Days of Thunder NES feels rushed. All the building blocks are there, and with a bit more attention to detail this could have been really good.


Days of Thunder NES ratings


**Does Days of Thunder NES make Andy’s top ten NES racing games? Er, well…**

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