It Ain't Driving Miss Daisy
The new models are in

You poor sap! It'll be twelve long months till you get your driver's license back. That's what you get for leaving L.A. for a vacation in Colorado! Not to worry. Here's five games to keep your gearstick slick while you're stuck at home.

See also...
... by Suzanne Ashe
... in the Scope section
... from November 12, 1999

Moving violations. If boosting vehicles to run down Hare Krishnas is up your alley, you'll want to bag a copy of Grand Theft Auto 2 (Rockstar Games, Playstation). Like its predecessor, it's a top-down driving action game set in London, 1969. Groovy. Three gangs control the three areas (levels) of the city. Each gang mans a set of pay phones, which you can answer to take on odd jobs. Thing is, you have to earn the respect of these urban punks by doing drive-bys on their rivals, and other acts of outstanding violence and destruction. You win when you get jumped in. Amazingly enough, approved by New York City cops. (Five stars)

Block racer. When you were a kid, you used to snap together all manner of LEGOs-with-wheels -- then fire them straight down a Matchbox track at the unsuspecting family dog. Relive the thrill with LEGO Racers (High Voltage Software, PC, N64 and PlayStation). Propel your favorite LEGO characters -- including Rocket Racer and Captain Redbeard -- through the Dark Forrest Dash and Magma Moon Marathon using extras you never had in your backyard battles to the finish line: turbo boosts, oil slicks and grappling hooks. Now you can learn your kids how to drive good too. (Three and a half stars; add a star if you're over 30)

Swamp thing. Go so far offroad you're in the damp and sticky for tournament-styled racing in Everglade Rush (NSD Entertainment, PC; available sometime in 2000). Patterned after Monster Truck Madness (only wetter) you'll be able to take your hovercraft from swamp, to lagoon to land and back again. More importantly, according to the Canadian developers, it includes "nice things to look at" and plenty of "animals to swim with and run over." At last, revenge against that bastard Frogger. (Too soon to tell)

Driving in circles. Even more spectacularly pointless than the competition, the latest Sega Rally (Sega Dreamcast; available at Christmas) arcade game is at least crammed to the go-faster stripes with polygons and speed to spare. The cool thing about the Dreamcast version is that it has a dozen more tracks and about nine more cars than the coin-op version. But even ported to Dreamcast, with full force-feedback support and 3-D audio backup, it is essentially the same arcade-style racing game. (Three and a half stars)

Flag down. Work off your road rage against hapless drunks and clubbers in Crazy Taxi (Sega Dreamcast; Winter, 2000). The rules of this game are easy enough: Pick a cab and cruise the city looking for potential fares. For some reason, different colors mark the characters who flag you down who have a long distance to travel. If it's Danny Glover, of course, you drive right on by. It's up to you to get them to their destinations quickly, but without terrifying them unduly, or boring them to death with stories about your day job. You win by earning as much money as you can by the end of your shift. (Four stars)

Suzanne Ashe has a Dreamcast, a Playstation, and a Nintendo 64. She no longer owns a car.