Well, thanks to Stadium 64, we have quite a nice description of this game, which we think was from a small write up on the game, so we may as well plug right into it considering how rushed off our feet we’ve been recently… so with a few minor adjustments…
….Baja California is a 1000-mile-long Mexican peninsula that has been for some years the site of grueling desert races for off-road vehicles called Baja buggies. Usually these buggies are beefed-up, stripped-down old Volkswagens. Gamestar wished to create a game based on this named Baja Buggies that lets you pretend you are driving in this race.
Since you are the novice driver, you were to start last-in a field of 80 other cars. Your goal is to finish first, and that means you have to pass all the competition.
According to the publicity speille, the buggy bounds through a 3-D landscape of “realistic” and “dangerous” scenery. The track was apparently narrow and collisions with other cars could only be avoided by using extreme care.
A small “radar” display at the bottom of the screen shows your relative position. The game ends when the first car crosses the finish line. The reviewer/previewer from the magazine managed to place tenth in the race, but Gamestar claims it is possible to make it to second or third.
Baja Buggies was claimed to be an excellent product. Apparently the game had some similarities to “Turbo” by Sega. The game was created by Scott and Keith Orr, formerly of Arcade Plus, whose Ghost Hunter was a popular PACMAN look-alike. The Orrs left Arcade back then, and started Gamestar. This is was to be their first product, which was released for the Atari.
So with some credits … is it possible to find out exactly what happened to Gamestar’s first ever game?
Can Scott and Keith Orr be tracked down to find out more?
Contributions: Stadium 64
28/06/16 – Link added to Atari version of the game.