I like racing games quite a bit. Making slight adjustments to gain fractions of a second on your opponent can be just as satisfying as utterly annihilating their vehicle. I consistently remove all of the Burnout, Forza, and Need for Speed series from my shelf to have a fun afternoon with. It is with this affinity for racing games that I come to GeneRally.
At its core, GeneRally is a simple racing game. Unfortunately, there is not much else here other than the core. You pick a set of racers and a series of tracks for a race "season", and off you go. The car physics are acceptable, but the damage that can be done to your car does not marry well with GeneRally's version of car physics. The base tracks are set up in a way that makes it much too easy to ram into walls, even at incredibly low speeds, and makes it difficult to maintain your placing against a computer opponent.
There are three different attributes that your car has which can change during the course of a race: Fuel, tire health, and damage. Fuel is, of course, the amount of gas that you have left. Tire health is, well, the current health of your tires. Damage is how damaged your car is and is the most annoying attribute of all.
It is quite possible to ruin your car after tapping a wall just two or three times. This is very annoying, as it affects how your car handles and seems to affect acceleration as well. This can make it very difficult to reach the pit area to repair your vehicle. And as I have said before, the built-in tracks are not built in a way that is conducive to avoiding walls.
The pit system is my favorite part of the game. When you drive into a pit area the eight little yellow men cluster around your car and lower your car's damage. If you drive off while they are still upon your car or drive through them very fast there will be a small red splotch that flies through the air. It's visually entertaining but it is very difficult to be the victor of a race if you have to use the pits.
The track editor seems rather intuitive. On the left are several different brushes (such as tarmac, grass, gravel, dirt, objects), and on the right is the top-down 2D layout of the current track. Each track must have a line drawn for the AI to follow, pits, and start locations. Checkpoints determine where the start and end of the track are, as well as make sure the players stay on the track.
GeneRally also has hot-seat multiplayer. Different human drivers can be assigned different key-sets. This allows for up to six human drivers on some tracks.
GeneRally is a great racing game for a coffee break but falls short of other games in the genre due to its lack of bells and whistles.
EDIT: The game is incredibly fun in multiplayer. If you have friends to play it with, I would recommend it highly.