Heart Like a Wheel © 1983 Micro Computer Technologies.
Heart Like a Wheel is a nice looking racing game in the style of Activision's Dragster (which is really a clone of Atari's Drag Race). However unlike Dragster or Drag Race which are viewed from the side, this game is viewed from behind. The perspective is similar to that of Activision's Enduro, right down to the vanishing point on the horizon.
The gameplay is quite similar to Dragster in that the player must rev his engine and change gears as fast as possible without blowing the engine. However unlike Dragster the player actually has control over his car and can steer it around the lane. The faster the player goes, the further the car will move into the horizon and the harder it is to keep from crashing into the sides of the lane. Careful steering is a must if you're going to win a race in this game.
The game was based on the 1983 movie of the same name. Twentieth Century Fox had contracted with a company called Micro Computer Technologies to create a game to tie in with the movie. The game was cancelled because the movie was a flop.
Heart Like a Wheel was never completely finished before being cancelled. While the core gameplay is there, the prototype is missing some finishing touches such as correct level progression, the races starting automatically, and more tracks. Although Collas never went on to develop any more VCS games, he had a long and successful career in the computer industry including becoming President of Amiga during Gateway's ownership of the brand.
According to the programmer, since the 2600's 6507 processor couldn't do advanced math he had to create a set of acceleration tables with pre-calculated data to accurately reproduce how a dragster would accelerate. He also had to use some advanced sprite interlacing techniques to get both cars on the screen at once.
Programmed by: Jim Collas