In 1991, Neighbours was coming off the back of an unprecedented four-year run that saw it go from a cancelled failure to a pop culture phenomenon, making massive teen stars of Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan — who faced riotous crowds everywhere they went in the UK, Australia and a number of other cul-de-sac-loving nations — and setting up a simple story-telling structure that has seen the show last 33 years. That’s as long as Jesus!

Neighbours started slowly on Channel Seven in 1985, and was axed after four months, when it became apparent nobody cared about the lives and loves of a few families on an inconsequential suburban street.

Channel Ten picked it up in 1986, added Kylie and Jason, plus Guy Pearce, Craig McLachlan and a few other young faces – and by mid-1987, close to twenty million UK viewers were glued to the screen for Scott and Charlene’s wedding.

By 1991, all four of the aforementioned stars had left, but that didn’t stop BBC and Grundy casting them as the main characters in the new Neighbours video game. And because street racing was such a huge part of the Neighbours universe, they decided a racing game would be the most accurate way to capture the magic of Ramsay Street.

Here’s the cover art. They say don’t judge a game by its cover, but you’d be a pretty picky gamer not to be sold on this. It’s closer to a piece of pop art or a Tame Impala tour poster really.

So the game itself. Well, you play as Scott Robinson (Jason Donovan in his only video game outing) and race four other characters from the show, through courses set on Ramsay Street, at Lassiter’s (where the pub and cafe are) and Erinsborough High School.

Luckily, this school racing was pre-Susan Kennedy, or she’d have stern words about this, for sure.

Of course, as you’ll know if you watch Neighbours, there are many hazards that tend to wander onto Ramsay Street, such as emus, kangaroos, and other native wildlife. You’ll also know that — due to congestion in the greater Erinsborough area —  cars plow recklessly down Ramsay Street with no regard for the law.

That’s Bouncer The Dog above, who was a main character in the show before producers realised dogs make for terrible story arcs. For what it’s worth, that’s nasty ol’ Mrs Mangle below (also well gone from the cul-de-sac by 1991), who is another hazard. And you collect ‘Grundy’ diamonds along the way, because what else is Scott (that’s you) doing really?

As Scott, you will race against fellow boarder Mike (skate fiend Guy Pearce), Charlene (Minogue) who rides a go-kart (seen below, although you know what Kylie looks like, so I’m not sure why I needed to point her out), Henry (Craig McLachlan) who takes a lawnmower to the streets because he was a larrikin Aussie knock-about bloke, and Matt Robinson (this dude) – who seems to have the world’s slowest motorcycle.

Check out all the action below, and make sure you hassle Grundy for an immersive Neighbours RPG starring Toadie.

And marvel at the non-nonsense approach of this Wiki entry. Pure information.

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