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Tomy 3D Thundering Turbo

Updated on June 12, 2013
RetroBrothers profile image

Martin has been a software developer for many years. This is mixed with a passion for retro machines and game,

3D Thundering Turbo

Here we are with another of those classic hand-held devices from TOMY which is another game in their '3D' range.

A while back I had a look at the classic 3D Sky Attack and this time I am taking a look at the g-force inducing, white knuckle ride that is... 3D Thundering Turbo.

TOMY really were the masters of hand-held 3D gaming back in the 1980s and their games were something really quite cool back in the day.

These hand-helds are a real testament to early 1980s gaming when anything 3D was 'amazing'.

The future had arrived, or so it seemed.

So let's take at another classic piece of hardware from TOMY who made us all feel like we were taking part in TRON...

What does Thundering Turbo look like?

That famous TOMY design with Thundering Turbos...
That famous TOMY design with Thundering Turbos...

3D Thundering Turbos Unit Design

TOMY manufactured all of these units with a very similar design.

They took the 'binocular' style with the gamer looking through a twin eyepiece to view the 3D graphics in all their resplendent glory.

A panel on the top of the unit allowed light to flood into the unit and illuminate the game - playing in the dark with one of these was not an option; the unit required an overhead light-source to display the game to you!

The brighter the light the more vibrant the display.

Just like a set of binoculars it came complete with a neck strap, so you could dangle it from your neck as you took a well earned break from the stresses of immersive 3D gaming!

A Classic Boxed Example Of 3D Thundering Turbos

Lovely...3D Thundering Turbos
Lovely...3D Thundering Turbos

The Gamers View

Remarkable Retro in 3D Thundering Turbos
Remarkable Retro in 3D Thundering Turbos

Thundering Turbos Gameplay

The game-play was deceptively simple.

As the three second countdown to the race begun your palms (and eyes!) began to sweat...

3,2,1 - and you're off!

Race you car along the track avoiding the other vehicles which all seemed to travel much slower than you!

You would score points for every other car you passed and any collisions would delay you for a few valuable seconds.

The aim of the game was to keep going for as long as possible and reach the highest score you could.

Like I said, really simple, but when the 3D was this good it almost didn't matter...

3D Thundering Turbo In Action

Beat Your Friends!

I always found that a great way to get more out of these games was to play it with a friend by taking turns.

This way you would always try to beat each others scores and go 'further' along the track.

This certainly did add some longevity to games like this as it gave you another reason to come back for more.

It was Senna v Mansell in a 3D world!

More 3D Gameplay from TOMY

3D Thundering Turbos

As far as car games go, this is a cult classic from the echelons of home gaming.

With it's binocular style design, luminescent graphics and portability it is real gem from TOMY and many of us must have played back in the day.

If you have never ever tried this game (or any others by TOMY) I urge you to do so. They are well worth a look and will interest any retro enthusiast.

Any other fans of the classic TOMY games?

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    • RetroBrothers profile imageAUTHOR

      Martin Allan 

      6 years ago from Sunny Scotland

      Hey Doctor - thanks for the comments.

      These TOMY games were brilliant back in the day - I've also created a hub on TOMY Sky Attack which you probably remember too!

      Cheers.

    • DoctorDarts profile image

      DoctorDarts 

      6 years ago

      Wonderful, man. My brother and I had this and Shark Attack (which I don't think was advertised on TV, strangely.) Shark Attack was better as you got to shoot the oncoming sharks...but the 'graphics' on this game when played in good daylight just looked FANTASTIC, like something out of Tron! Thanks for taking me back!

    • RetroBrothers profile imageAUTHOR

      Martin Allan 

      6 years ago from Sunny Scotland

      Thanks for the comments Roly.

      You are right these games were superbly executed back in the day - maybe in 25 years time I can write a hub about the 3DS!

      Cheers.

    • RolyRetro profile image

      RolyRetro 

      6 years ago from Brentwood, Essex, UK

      Great hub, I have a huge collection of 80's handhelds and the Tomy 3D games are the ones that visitors love to play with the most. A great concept and really well executed by Tomy, long before the 3DS!

    • profile image

      Taz 

      6 years ago

      I had one, happy memories. Also had Astro wars and frogger :)

      Those grandstand 4 prong adapters were a nightmare, if the pins didn't fail the cable tended to be too brittle at the 4 prong adapter end and before you knew the the wires were poking out and it was a goner, didn't matter how much sellotape you put on it.

      I seem to remember thundering turbos was battery hungry.

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