[Note: Games Of Our Lives will return next week when special correspondent Wil Wheaton returns from The A.V. Club's disabled list. In the meantime, please enjoy this favorite Games Of Our Lives column from the archives.]
From the first time you sat in a cardboard box and made "Vroom! Vroom!" noises to the first time you put playing cards in the spokes of your bike, you've wanted to be a racer... but your dad wants you to go into the family business and make those stupid "#1" foam fingers, and he stands between you and the keys to the family Datsun. You've got two choices: steal some of mom's Valium to numb the pain, or hop onto the Sega racing circuit and show your old man who's really number one.
Gameplay: Unlike most race-car drivers, who have to actually sit in their vehicles, you get to watch your car from several hundred feet above as you race against time and your opponents. Unlike most race cars, which confuse the hell out of you with several "gears," your Turbo racer keeps it nice and simple: Choose between L and H. (Free strategy tip: "L" stands for "Lose this race because you didn't shift into 'H,' stupid.") Pass 30 cars before the time runs out, and you get to try the next level. Pass enough levels, and you get to see a "Winner's Circle" graphic before the whole thing starts over. Take that, Dad! Who's number one now, huh?
Could be mistaken for: Pole Position, Monaco GP.
Kids today might not like it because: The act of racing as fast as you can and not actually getting anywhere is a little too much like trying to get to second base at the Junior Prom.
Kids today might like it because: They can go as fast as they can, and crash as many times as they want, without any consequences... just like in real life.
Enduring contribution to gaming history: Turbo came in both stand-up and sit-down versions, which paved the way for sit-down versions of classics like Spy Hunter and Star Wars. Wil Wheaton
Wil Wheaton lives with his family in Los Angeles. He's never been invited to the celebrity race in the Long Beach Grand Prix.