Game Review Data
Game Title
Quad Desert Fury
Skyworks Technology/Majesco Games
Value Priced



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3D racing games have come a long way on the GBA. At the 2003 E3 conference, the Majesco Games booth had a preview of a working title using their brand new Voxel 3D Engine for the GBA. From that brand new 3D engine, they bring you the "valueware" ($20 USD Retail) off-road racing title "Quad Desert Fury".

Screen Shots


This is a bare bones racing game with some really nice eye candy. There are only 2 game options - quick race (to test and familiarize yourself with the game) or challenge (where you try to beat the game from start to finish).

In quick race, you get to choose one of the seven tracks available and do a single race. Races consist of 3 laps against 3 opponents. As the title suggests, QDF is off-road checkpoint racing across vast and varied terrain with turbo and land mines found along the way. Each track is based in the same world, but the tracks checkpoints are laid out in different and more challenging ways as you go along.

In challenge mode, your objective is to win the race to move on to the next. There are 7 races in total to be beaten. Unfortunately, there is no save feature, so you have to play from start to finish if you are going to take the challenge. Once you've beaten the challenge mode, that's it, which is quite disappointing. There are no bonus games, tracks to unlock, or new vehicles to find.


Because of frame rate issues, it is very difficult to play this game with complete control. At times, the quad reacts oddly, either over-steering or under-steering, especially when trying to react to the bumps in the terrain. When this happens, it's very difficult to correct, because by the time you change direction, it's almost always too late. Although the game does control reasonably well most of the time, there are still lots of little frustrations along the way, due mostly to the slow frame rate and resultant lag in control. One good thing to note, however, is that QDF allows you go almost anywhere. There are no boundaries, no limits... because of this feature, there are multiple ways to get you to your next checkpoint.


This is where QDF shines. The highly detailed 3D landscape is beautifully sculpted and as I've mentioned, you're at liberty to go anywhere you want. Your quad and rider are simple 2D sprites, but they look good and react properly with the terrain and other vehicles without any issues. Animation is also good, particularly when you crash since I found it rather entertaining to watch as the rider hopped over the quad while it's in a backward roll.

Unfortunately, however, this beautiful 3D landscape is a little too much for the GBA to handle, and you will notice that frame rate and controller reaction suffer immensely. When surrounded by opponents, for example, the frame rate drops to a dismal 5 to 10 FPS. Even when you're the only one on screen, it maxes out at maybe 20 FPS, if you're lucky. Looks like the Voxel 3D Engine needs a bit more optimizing before it can be considered a complete success.

Sound & Music

The music is good quality new age rock, quite apt for an off-road game like QDF. Unfortunately, there is only one soundtrack. Although QDF doesn't have that many options, there still is one that allows you to turn off the music, just in case you get tired of hearing it again and again.

The sound FX are fairly decent with one exception. When you hit your brakes, it sounds like a car skidding on a regular road and not at all like a quad in sand dunes.

Final Comments

The Voxel Engine is a good indicator of how great 3D can be implemented on the GBA. Unfortunately for Quad Desert Fury, the implementation seems a little rushed, evident in the slow frame rates and lagging controls. Most disappointing though, is the lack of features, missing save game option and short game time. I beat the challenge mode in just under 25 minutes and in my opinion, isn't worth the 20 dollars they're asking for it. Still, I'm willing to give QDF 2 out of 5 stars mainly for the really nice track graphics and the ability to go nearly everywhere in the game world.

@ EAGB Advance 2002. All rights reserved.