Developer: Optimum Resource, Inc.
Publisher: Optimum Resource, Inc.
Format: DOS (Abandonware Copy)
Released: 1982


Were you one of those kids who drew fancy cars that you’d one day like to see or drive? Or were you like me and the only car you drew was a 2D war machine that added to a gigantic battlefield from what my friends and I had creatively dubbed ‘War Pictures’? Either way Car Builder is a “game” that allows you build your very own unique car creation.




Is Car Builder a game?

You may have noticed the formating on the word game and be asking about the logical reasoning behind such wizardry of font manipulation. The answer is a simple one; I’m not really sure Car Builder is an actual game or if it’s the 80s version of interactive training for car mechanics and car designers. In fact, Car Designer would probably be a far better title and description of what the next 15 minutes, to potentially whole day (envisioning yourself as Vin Diesel – speaking of which), is all about.

Despite my feelings on whether or not Car Builder is a game, it sure is fun but for reasons that are beyond me. The 2D graphics consumed every inch of my functional brain into channeling everything I learned from Top Gear, which failed miserably as I only ever really watched the specials where they had to drive through India in a homemade truck/tent or similar. If you like cars you could probably spend an undignified amount of time with what’s possibly the most basic gaming experience of your life. I don’t like cars and I still spent about 300% more time than I expected in the world of wireframe cars and explanation text.


Making movies, making songs and fighting making cars around the world


My new wheels, simply called ‘L0V3R’

The gameplay is a mixture of text changes and grossly arrange a pixel line that represents the outline of your new build of car. The creative aspect of moving the line is addictive and compulsive as watching the Fast and Furious 7 something that words simple can’t do justice, something that transpires emotion and thought, something beyond human that nestles in the back of your heart, something that allows you to make a dick car. If the drawing dicks is an art than this is an Italian masterpiece.


Lateral Acceleration is all that counts

Car Builder allows for you to select through a few set styles and structures and these are easily manipulated into your pulsating, thunder rocket. Once complete, you can test your car’s aerodynamics by putting it through a wind tunnel and even having it do a test lap on a circuit to see where you can improve on its design. It took me a little bit of thoughtless navigation before I found the expanded options for windows, engines and more but they’re all here to play with. I’m not gender bias and neither is Car Builder so if you want to make a boob car then make you shall!


I know 80s car parts…


Yes… I understand car stuff….

For the most part Car Builder throws a lot of car jargon at you especially with the particulars of engine parts and mechanical features. I don’t know what the difference is between a drum brake and any other or a radial wheel versus the 8 other options or what makes any engine (cause I can’t remember their names) different than the others. Making cars is hard.


That’s what she said

As far as gameplay goes that’s  it. You add a part you don’t know anything about and test your vehicle on the road or in the wind tunnel, rinse and repeat. Your enjoyment will pend solely on how much you can enjoy doing that and checking the wind resistance and aerodynamics of crude shapes because we’re all 12 at heart. If this doesn’t sound like something you’d enjoy then avoid Car Builder like you’d avoid calling Mike Tyson a chud.


The DOSbox beat!

As it’s from 1982, the only other feature on display is an annoying beep when you try select and out of bounds option. That beeping followed me to bed at night and tried to enter my skull and scramble my brains and all because I just wanted to perfectly sculpt a phallic automobile.


My retro review score: