Codex Gamicus

SODA Off-Road Racing is an off-road racing simulation released for both DOS and Windows PCs. The game was based on the SODA series but featured only fantasy vehicles and tracks. The game was produced by Software Allies, a collaboration of companies that included Papyrus.

Role as development for Grand Prix Legends[]

There has been speculation that SODA was actually effectively an early testbed for the physics engine that was to be used the following year in Grand Prix Legends.[citation needed]


The gameplay, done with full 3D physics, allowed the car to roll over if pushed too hard through a corner, and launch into the air off jumps. The damage taken to the cars could result in body panels falling off, transmission/engine destruction, and multiple wheels flying off (this was common if a jump was taken the wrong way).

Races were done with up to six competitors.


There are three vehicles to choose from.

  • 150 hp Rear wheel drive buggy
  • 800 hp Rear wheel drive truck
  • 800 hp Four wheel drive truck

800hp rear wheel drive truck

The game allows you to tweak the vehicles setup. The usual suspension and gearing options are there as well as the option to adjust the amount of hp produced by the engine. The hp adjustment is much needed in the rear wheel drive truck which is almost undrivable with the full 800 hp.

There is also an option to turn on vehicle damage. The damage model was advanced for the time and features engine, drivetrain, suspension and tyre damage.


There are three environments country, desert and tropics which featured different track surfaces and scenery items. Each environment contained four supplied tracks.

The tracks are open environment, but races are done with checkpoints, meaning a racer must go through each checkpoint on the course to complete a lap. Track designers needed to keep this in mind, as it was possible to cheat and drive laps "checkpoint to checkpoint" instead of following the actual track course.

Track editor[]


Track editor

In addition to the twelve supplied tracks the user could create more using the supplied fully featured track editor. Layout files for all the in game tracks where also supplied. One drawback to the track editor was that in order to race against the ai they had to learn the track. On computers of the time the learning process could take several hours, but on modern machines it is much faster.