Formula One

Sega Genesis
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Formula One delivers high-speed racing excitement, offering accessible gameplay and a variety of modes for an enjoyable experience

Released in 1993 by Lankhor and published by Domark, Formula One promised to be the fastest racing game on the Genesis. However, the reality falls far short of expectations.

Race for glory, but beware of the pitfalls!

A Personal Take on Racing Games

While I’m not a die-hard fan of racing as a sport, I do enjoy racing video games. So, when I stumbled upon a copy of Formula One, I thought it might be a fun way to spend a few hours and provide a review for fellow gamers. Little did I know what I was getting into.

The game offers basic options, allowing you to choose from single races, various tournaments, or a full twelve-track championship. However, I strongly advise against the latter, as some tracks take an excruciatingly long time to complete, leading to bouts of boredom.

An Arcade-Style Attempt at F1 Racing

Formula One leans more towards an arcade game than a true Formula One simulation, with the goal being to finish in the top six. Unfortunately, the gameplay sacrifices graphics for speed, resulting in a less-than-pleasant visual experience. While the cars are well-detailed, the tracks suffer from a lack of distinctiveness, making memorization a challenge.

Formula One (genesis gallery 04)

The Pitfalls of Formula One

The game’s flaws are evident from the get-go. Physics are far from accurate, with braking mechanics feeling disconnected. Acceleration outperforms other cars, making overtaking a breeze. However, passing opponents presents its own set of issues, often leading to collisions and time loss.

The pits, meant for spoiler changes and refueling, are handled through a simplistic menu, lacking realism. Navigating to the pits proves difficult due to minimalistic graphics, making them blend into the scenery. Missed pit opportunities or collisions in the pit area result in setbacks, further frustrating the player.

Difficulty Levels and Turbo Mode

Formula One offers adjustable difficulty settings, but even on the hardest setting, the AI’s intelligence feels lacking. Turbo mode, on the other hand, ramps up the speed to an almost uncontrollable level, detracting from the gaming experience.

The two-player mode, whether against the CPU or another player, fails to inject excitement into the gameplay, ultimately falling flat.

Graphics, Sound, and Final Verdict

Graphically, Formula One disappoints, offering little to admire. The menus are serviceable, but the sound effects, particularly the high-pitched engine noises, leave much to be desired. The game’s music is forgettable at best.

Formula One (genesis gallery 02)

While Formula One may provide some fleeting amusement, its fundamental flaws overshadow any potential enjoyment. Fixing the mechanics could salvage the experience, but as it stands, it’s a game best left unplayed.


For fans of racing games, Formula One’s shortcomings make it a hard pass. Its lackluster graphics, flawed mechanics, and frustrating gameplay detract from any potential fun. Unless you’re a completionist collector, this title is best left on the shelf.

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Is this game a realistic racing simulation?

No, Formula One leans more towards arcade-style gameplay rather than a true simulation of Formula One racing.

Are there multiple difficulty settings in the game?

Yes, the game offers various difficulty settings, but even on the hardest setting, the AI can be underwhelming.

What is the significance of the turbo mode?

Turbo mode attempts to ramp up the speed, but it often makes the game too fast to control effectively, resulting in a frustrating experience.

How does this game compare to other racing games on the Genesis?

Formula One falls short of its potential, especially when compared to other racing titles available on the Genesis.

Is this game recommended for casual gamers?

Due to its gameplay issues and limited appeal, Formula One may not be the best choice for casual gamers looking for an enjoyable racing experience.