Tyco R/C: Assault With a Battery
is almost a traditional racer, but the R/C element changes things somewhat. Everything is running on battery power here, so most of the weapons and special moves are based on electricity. This game has a full load of modes and more “secrets” than Victoria. Single Race Mode is a chance to practice one of the eight tracks before entering the Challenge Modes. Winning a Challenge Mode can unlock secret cars, tracks, and other modes. Mirrored tracks are there to be unlocked in both Single Race and Challenge Mode, and Collect Tyco is a devilish mode that you also have to earn. In Collect Tyco Mode, you race the tracks for first place, but also have to collect the four letters in “TYCO.” It’s maddening to either take first place and forget a letter or get all the letters but give up first place. Maddening, but fun.
Power-Ups, obstacles, and secret routes litter each track. The Power-Ups are fairly standard and include mines, missiles, shields, and turbo-boost. Some weapons take advantage of the fact that R/C cars need to maintain an electrical charge. You can zap your opponent and steal its energy, but my favorite is the “IT” and “Anti-IT.” These whacky devices have a special mode in Two-Player, but in Single-Player, putting the “IT” on your car improves speed and charge-time while the “Anti-IT” does the opposite. What’s cool is that by slamming into opponents, you pass off these “ITs,” which can be a good or bad thing depending on which “IT” you have. Two-Player lets you do a simple race, or choose from three other modes. Battle Mode is all about draining the other guy’s battery, Capture “IT” works along the same lines as the “IT” in One-Player, and Soccer Mode is -- just like it sounds -- two cars bouncing a big ball around, trying to score goals.
The cars are some weird contraptions. I remember seeing most of them advertised on TV, but there are a few I don’t remember. Each is ranked by speed and acceleration, with unique special moves. Taking different cars through the Challenge Mode is essential to earning new moves and extra cars. After going through Single Race with a different car, you learn quickly how to exploit its powers, but some are harder to win with than others.