For a Gameboy game it's both an original racer and a leading game
Nigel Mansell was Magnum PI's brother, who decided to trade the exciting life of a detective for the thrills of Formula 1 racing. Not only that, but he was also savvy to the new hype of video games at the time. And thus he branded his name on a dozen or so games, coming out on just about any platform available at the time. Mario wasn't the only popular moustache, oh no! He had some stiff, upper lip competition from this Brit person.
Anyway, the Gameboy version of Nigel Mansell's World Championship Racing will take you through all the Grand Prix races at the time; from Australia to South Africa. And no, that race won't include Vuvuzela's!
After you've picked your name you can choose between Driving School, where you'll learn the tracks; a single race or a Full Season. Or you can even watch your Gameboy play for you in Mansell Circuit, where you'll see how the Mustache Master would perform a given track. Although cute, that addition really won't teach you anything you can't learn from practicing yourself in Driving School. You will have a 100 MPH speed limit whilst practicing though, so you can't negotiate turns, just learn them.
Racing in any case will always be presented in first person, where you view the front end of the car with the driver's steering wheel and hands. On that matter: Why oh why do you have Mickey Mouse hands? Does he also have giant round ears on his helmet? I was waiting for me to miss a turn so I could hear the driver utter "Ho hoo!", but that never happened. They added rear view mirrors though, which made for a nice touch, even if it's not really handy.
Though the graphics are rather nice, this first person view often will cause for problems. For instance, negotiating turns or space between race cars accurately is a pain. Often you'll bump into your opponents when turning or passing, ultimately slowing you down.
And you'll really need that speed and skill, because Nigel Mansell doesn't mess about. The pole position car will be doing his job very proper like and gaining on him will require all your cunning. For some reason, the faults of the POV will add to this challenge in a good way. You'll need to wait for a straight or risk a turn if you'd like to pass someone. And all other cars won't let you just whiz by; they'll fight tooth and nail for their spots.
Unfortunately even the back end will not let you pass properly, which can lead to frustration once you've mastered doubling cars. This way, you'll sometimes lose the pole position, because the CPU can easily fly by the slackers. But you'll be stuck managing to pass them, waiting for straights while your opponent is making a gap.
Also there isn't really a crash sequence, probably due to only having first person view. You'll only slow down whenever you hit something. Whether you hit a pole at 300 MPH or a speeding car, you won't ever fly off. That was a bit off a shame.
But when it boils down to it, the mustache man does a fairly good job at creating a pleasing driving simulator. The flaws double up as realism and add to the challenge, which makes up for some other frustrations. For a Gameboy game it's both an original racer and a leading game on its platform. If you enjoy old school racers, you can't go wrong with Mario. Err, I mean Mansell.
They even have the same initial. This can't be a coincidence!