Throwback Thursday: Formula One Grand Prix

In this week’s Throwback Thursday, we are going to take a look at the first title in Geoff Crammond’s critically acclaimed Grand Prix series. Formula One Grand Prix (called World Circuit in the United States) was released in 1992 for the Amiga, Atari ST, and PC. F1GP is regarded to as the spiritual successor to REVS, Geoff Crammond’s first racing title.

F1GP was one of the first serious simulation titles to come after Papyrus’ Indianapolis 500: The Simulation, and simulated the 1991 Formula One vehicles and tracks, but due to licensing constraints, fictional names were used. Sixteen circuits are included in the title. The game also featured the ability to tweak your car’s setup, something that was all but unheard of in 1992. Tire wear and damage were also accurately replicated in the sim.

Multiplayer was very interesting in F1GP. Since there was no online play enabled in the game, a “play by mail” mode was implemented. Basically, you would choose a driver for a race, and when your turn ended, you would mail the game’s floppy disk to the next competitor. You could actually run a full season through this method.

The game also featured an active online community, that nearly spanned two decades! Many new skins, performance mods, even an attempt at a course editor was added to F1GP. The Play by Mail system was even used into the early 2010s, Online community also expanded in the subsequent Grand Prix releases, until Microprose shut down in 2003.

Since F1GP is now considered Abandonware, you can download it here. Do you have any memories of racing the first GP title? Did you ever try play by mail?

Darin’s Note: World Circuit was ahead of it’s time and one of the first great hardcore sims to hit the market. Would have been awesome to be able to race true multiplayer. It’s a shame that Geoff stopped at GP4. It would be awesome if he was still in the industry, and I would love to see what he could have done with modern day hardware.

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