It is probably true to say that people will gamble on anything, but whether you are really keen to gamble on Cavalier Software's A Day at the Races must depend on how much of a compulsion gambling is to you.
The blurb grandly proclaims that the program brings you "the smell of the turf, the drama of the Steward's Enquiry and the excitement of sleek thoroughbreds thundering through the final furlong..." Whether the PCW bleeper bravely warbling a fanfare and the primitive graphics that better represent beetles racing across ice than sleek thoroughbreds justifies these claims is open to question.
Still, it does provide the basic ingredient - a race with nine horses and an indeterminate winner. It sets the odds, provides you with the money and speedily works out your winnings (or losses). Unfortunately the PCW printer hasn't been set up to actually print out your winnings in folding currency.
You have all the gates jamming, riders falling and Stewards Enquiries to heighten the fever pitch of excitement and when you have won your fortune you have the chance to invest in everything from a Golf GTI to a £350,000 mansion. Or (as is more likely) when you reach your credit limit you can sell your TSB shares, borrow from a money lender or sell your shirt for £10.
It does thoughtfully tell you how the ‘going' is for each race although there seems to be nothing more than random chance behind the winner in any event. Extensive testing shows that consistent betting on the favourite and the rankest outsider loses money at the same rate - in this it would seem to be completely authentic.
This is really the kind of game you see as a type-it-yourself listing in BASIC text books, and not what you expect for fifteen quid.