Classic ‘Vette! PC DOS Game Review

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Before Grand Theft Auto, PC game Vette! let you get your crazy city driving kicks from the comfort of your living room.

Open-world driving games are a great way to scratch that itch of driving around town like a maniac in our dream car. Most recently, the Forza Horizon series filled this role, as well as Grand Theft Auto series, and even the classic Midtown Madness series. Before all of those was the classic DOC PC game Vette!

Vette! (stylized with the exclamation point, naturally) was one of the very first open-world driving games, and it’s surprisingly ambitious considering its 1989 release date. This YouTube video by Lazy Game Reviews (LGR) goes in-depth to explain what Vette! was all about.

Classic Vette! DOS PC Game

Anything but lazy, Clint Basinger, LGR’s host, goes the extra mile to play classic PC games on the hardware they were originally intended for. He creates a much more authentic experience then just running it on a modern emulator. It’s especially useful for this game, as the game’s primitive form of copyright protection involved answering a piece of Corvette trivia found in the manual. Getting the question wrong would result in the in-game police arresting you for driving a stolen ‘Vette — clever.

There’s so much more to it than that

That manual was really something, too, featuring not only the usual game setup info and control layout but also offering a detailed history of the Corvette, as well as the specs of the cars in the game, including the opponent vehicles.

Four Corvettes are included in the game, a stock ’89 Corvette, a ZR1, and Callaway’s Twin Turbo and Sledgehammer. You get to select your opponent from four European thoroughbreds — Porsche’s 928, Lamborghini’s Countach, and the F40 and Testarossa from Ferrari.

The graphics are a mix of early 3D polygon graphics and attractive dithered 2D pixel sprites. They look quite impressive for the time, but we admit that the 2D sprites have aged better to our eyes than the raw, blocky polygons that represent the game’s setting, San Francisco.

The game is packed with cool features — our favorite is the ability to choose from a list of excuses for your crazy driving when you inevitably get pulled over. That’s just one of the game’s many charms. Since finding an original, complete copy is a rare find today — let alone a machine capable of running it — we recommend sitting back and letting LGR do the driving.

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Cam Vanderhorst is a contributor to Harley-Davidson Forums, Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Corvette Forum, and MB World. He is also a co-host of the Cammed & Tubbed podcast.

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