Some low budget games, or movies or TV shows manage to be great despite their creators limited resources. Sometimes, they manage to be spectacularly awful too. Bumper Wars is neither of these things and manages just to be average and instantly forgettable. The games story goes something like this; inspired by amusement parks on earth, a bunch of aliens decide to re-create the spectacle in space, this time arming the bumper cars with guns and weapons.
The game should install with no problems on a modern PC. Be aware that the default installation directory is “C:\Program Files\Bumper Wars”. On a 64 bit operating system, the program files folder is usually reserved for 64 bit applications, so you may want to manually change the install directory to take this into account.
At the end of the installation process the program will offer to install Gamespy Arcade. You can skip this step as this service shut down many years ago and will no longer work. We also found that the game didn’t automatically create shortcuts on our Start menu, so you may need to add “Bump.exe” (the game) and “Config.exe” (configuration utility) to your Start menu manually. For a tutorial on how to do that, see this page.
Tweaking visual quality
You can set the games visual options at any time by running the “Config.exe” program in the games directory. This should run directly after installation is complete too. Bumper Wars was never the greatest looking game and it certainly hasn’t improved with time, but you can still squeeze the most visual quality from the game by setting the options as shown below.
The game supports both OpenGL and Direct3D, Direct3D should give the best results. Make sure that device is set to “Direct3D T&L HAL” or (if using dgVoodoo2) “dgVoodoo TnL HAL”. “Screen” can be set to the highest available resolution. The game will only allow you to choose non-widescreen resolutions.
On the bottom left of the screen there are some other options (Click the “More” button if you don’t see them). You can turn all of these options on for best quality. The exception is “Triple Buffering” which may or may not add some additional input lag and shouldn’t be necessary on a modern PC.
Remember to click “Apply” when you’re done configuring these settings.
Bumper Wars supports games controllers, you can configure them from the main menu by selecting “Options” and then “Controls”. Note that your car is constantly moving, so the control misleadingly labelled “Gear up” is actually more accurately described as “Go faster”. If you want to use the d-pad or analogue triggers on your controller, you will need to use Xpadder.
If you want to use in-game overlays or screen recording software with the game, you can install dgVoodoo2 by following the tutorial here.
Problems saving games:- Like many older games, Bumper Wars stores its save game files and other configuration information in its installation directory. If you installed the game into the program files or program files (x86) folders, you may find that the default Windows security settings prevent the game from saving any progress. To fix this problem set the permissions on your game folder so that your user account has full control/read write permissions. You can find a tutorial on how to configure folder permissions here.
The actual save game and configuration files are stored in the root of the Bumper Wars game folder and are called “players.dat” and “Setup.cfg”.
Click on the screenshot to enlarge it.