View to a Kill - The Computer Game, A

by Tigress Marketing Ltd (David Bishop, Chris Palmer), Softstone Ltd: Tony Knight, Daryl Bowers, Gary Burfield-Wallis, Grant Harrison, Gary Knight, Argentino Trombin, Nichola Blades, Robert Ritson, Tony Crowther, David Aubrey-Jones
Domark Ltd
Crash Issue 18, July 1985   (1985-06-27)   page(s) 18,20

Surprisingly, this is the first game to be based on Ian Flemings superhero James Bond. Taking the form of a three part arcade adventure, A View to a Kill is based on the three main action sequences of the film of the same name which is due for release any day now.

The basic plot of both the film and game is quite straightforward, involving Bond in a battle with a superbaddy who has delusions of grandeur and seeks world domination. This time, the evil one is called Max Zorin and plans to blow up Silicon Valley with a thermonuclear device so that he can corner the silicon chip market and put every other computer company out of business. (Who needs Max Mark Butler, Chris Curry, Paul Dyer et al.

You have to guide 007 through the three games, acquiring a special code on successful completion of each task which you input to start the next game in the trilogy. This code contains information about your performance in the game just completed, and while you can use the same code to jump to any particular game, the best way to improve your performance is to play each game until you have done really well, before moving on to the next section. To complete the final game, you must have done as well as James himself would have in the first two scenarios, so unless you're really secret agent material a little practice will be in order!

The game is played in real time but you are allowed to pause, so you can sit back and sip your Martini. A choice of background music is offered: you can select the Bond theme or the tune from the Duran Duran single. More sound effects are provided in the form of speech output, phrases such as 'my name is James Bond' and 'Dammit' make occasional appearances.

Not quite icon driven, the adventure elements of the games are controlled via a 'duck shoot ' system which is displayed in a window on the right of the screen. The upper part of this window shows the symbols for the items that you have in your possession, and by using the keys or joystick they can be made to scroll past a pointer to make a choice. Once an item has been selected it can be used according to the instructions entered in the lower part of the window. This lower area contains phrases such as 'return', 'search', 'drop', 'use' and 'give'. The command you select in the lower section will act upon the object you selected in the section above.

Part One of the game is set in Paris. Bond has been briefed by 'M' and is having lunch with a fellow agent, when suddenly his colleague is killed by the ruthless assassin, May Day. Bond chases her to the top of the Eiffel Tower and watches in amazement as she leaps off the top, parachuting down to safety. Commandeering a taxi at the foot of the tower, Bond attempts to guide it through the streets of Paris to the spot where May Day will land.

Using the controls, you have to guide the taxi to May Day's landing spot. The main screen provides of 3D view of the road ahead, while the lower part displays a map of the immediate area. You have a radio tracker which gives an indication of May Day's position. Driving round the Paris streets you encounter many hazards, and driving the wrong way down one-way streets will have the police on your tail, setting up road blocks or maybe taking a few pot shots. And watch out for the manic Parisian drivers - too many collisions and your car will stop working.

Miss May Day's landing, and it's back to the start for you....

San Francisco provides the setting for Section Two, the City Hall to be exact. Bond and his girl, Stacey, have found Max but he has turned the tables on them by trapping them in the lift and, because he's a nice sort of guy, setting fire to it. Bond has escaped from the lift but now you must guide him. He must rescue Stacey and escape from the burning building.

Not all of the objects found inside city hall will have any immediate use, the geiger counter, for example, is needed for the next game. As you move from room to room the fire is taking hold, and time is of the essence. Your progress and that of the fire is shown on a front elevation of City Hall displayed at the base of the screen. A thermometer on the right of the screen lets you know when things are getting too hot.

If you managed to get past the first two games then you are given the chance to save Silicon Valley and next year's Spectrum production. To complete this section of the trilogy Bond must enlist May Day to help him get to the nuclear device by convincing her of the error of her ways. The geiger counter shown at the top right of the screen will help you locate the bomb and while there's a great deal of jumping and rope climbing to do, you must always be on the look out for useful objects.

The mine is really a huge maze, and you can examine the area immediately around Bond, so avoiding those spectacular but annoying jumps into oblivion. When you locate the bomb you must disable it. Then you and May Day can make off into the sunset, safe in the knowledge that Max has had his chips and the world is once more a safe and happy place.

Control keys: vary from game to game, displayed on each title screen along with options
Joystick: Kempston
Keyboard play: good
Use of colour: average
Graphics: average, better in the mine
Sound: occasional bit of chat
Skill levels: 1
Lives: infinite
Screens: three linked games

'This is a huge game with many interrelated elements that make it extremely playable. Some of the graphics area bit of a let down - I'm sure they could have been a lot better, The sound? well a great deal has been promised and if it is only half as good as the CBM version then they have done well. The speech is OK but perhaps a little feeble, the effect is very similar to the speech on Deathstar Interceptor. The facility to play any of the games in isolation is useful but I feel that once the problems have been leamt and tackled a few times the game will lose a great deal of its attraction. On the whole though I think it fair to say that for any Bond fans this game is a must - especially if you intend to see the film because that should help it all make sense, and provide you with some valuable clues to solving the game'

'If you've seen I mpossible Mission on the Commodore, and hoped for an equally good Spectrum secret agent game you would be sadly disappointed by A View to a Kill. The graphics leave a general impression of being crude, and the games themselves weren't exactly gripping. Perhaps if you see the film first in Glorious Living Technicolour Cinemascope or whatever, your imagination will make up for the shortcomings. Between them, the three games make up a reasonable entertainment package, but somehow I don't think I d be totally gripped for very long'

'This is the first arcade game about Ian Fleming 's super (unkillable) character James Bond, Agent 007.1 was quite surprised when I found out that this was the only one on the market as software houses seem to be buying up heroes like hot cakes. I loved the opening sequence - it was a very good effect although it did go on for ages. The games themselves were playable and addictive, with fair to good graphics. There is some nice speech in there too, but other than that the sound was a bit uneventful. I like the way you can select your weapons, hardware etc, although it can lead to some problems in the mine when jumping. I wish 007 would show some sign of injury, his resilience became a bit annoying after a while. For instance when in the mine after falling the equivalent of 100 feet and landing on his head he would lie flat on his back for half a second and then get up and walk off as if he had just tripped up. Still, a fun game overall, and not a bad tiein

Use of Computer: 73%
Graphics: 67%
Playability: 75%
Getting Started: 84%
Addictive Qualities: 69%
Value for Money: 65%
Overall: 76%

Summary: General Rating: Certainly worth having.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Spectrum Issue 17, August 1985   page(s) 32,33,34

I, SPY...

Bond is back - as if you hadn't noticed! And now he's making his software debut in Domark's latest game based on the new film, A View to a Kill. The YS spies, Tony Samuels and Ross Holman have decoded the following message.

There must've been late night meetings - money changing hands - clandestine rendez-vous - and plenty of secrets to be kept. But finally, Domark pulled it off - the computer marketing coup of the year. Bond has gained his license to thrill on the Speccy in the new game of the film. A View to a Kill.

And Domark certainly hasn't skimped on the plot. There are three sizeable chunks of the original celluloid that have been turned into separate but connected games. Plus there's a title sequence based closely on the film's opening and a finale for the few who manage to complete it (or cheat at it! Ed).

Each of the games loads separately but as you complete them you're given a code-word to take onto the next one. The first game is set in Paris and has you motoring round the boulevards in hot pursuit of the villainess, May Day as she parachutes down from the Eiffel Tower. It's certainly the weakest of the three games and any tension there might have been is completely destroyed by the poor programming. The car is pathetic and your control over it is non-existent - you can ignore the bit in the blurb about doing handbrake turns as a joke. The game also has too many bugs to make it playable for long. OK, so you expect Bond to drive into walls occasionally but it'd be nice if he could get out again.

From a poor start, things start to look up. The City Hall game is based very closely on the film and seeing it beforehand helped us rescue Stacy, the new Bond blonde. The programming still looks pretty raw but once you get used to the poor animation, the game content should have you hooked.

The third game's set in a silver mine and it's Bond's task to defuse a bomb that the evil Max Zorin has planted. It's certainly the most inventive and innovative of the three games and has Bond running, jumping, climbing ropes and turning somersaults in his quest to find May Day and stop the explosion. But it's also a minefield when it comes to bugs. Bond can end up encased in solid rock, he lost his feet at one point (literally) and you even take a ride on a hidden lift that'll take you on a journey to the centre of the program! All this isn't to say it's unplayable. On the contrary, it's very addictive - if only the programming had been tidied up beforehand.

For all that they're based on the Bond film, these three games are very different from it. OK, who's the wise guy who said that's obvious? No, the Bond films are all about style and special effects, Just the things that these three games lack. Still, they've got plenty of content and with three games on one tape you can't really complain about not getting your money's worth.

Overall: Not Rated

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 40, July 1985   page(s) 20

SILICON Valley is in danger of obliteration and 007 is sent to fulfil another improbable mission in Domark's A View to a Kill.

In order to destroy the chip industry, Max Zorin, mad genius, has planted a massive bomb in some disused mines beneath Silicon Valley. When it detonates, the San Andreas Fault will open up and tip the lot into the Pacific. Why not do something simple like poison the water?

There are three games, each played in different locations and linked by code numbers.

You stan in Paris, just as you are about to be told the key to Zorin's plan, Mayday - played by Grace Jones in the film - takes a pot shot and kills your informant. A mad car chase follows. Mayday jumps from the Eiffel Tower and descends by parachute. You jump into a taxi and chase through the city to capture her.

The screen is split horizontally. The upper half is the 3D perspective view as seen through the windscreen and the lower half is an aerial view depicting road blocks, police cars and the drifting parachutist.

Having captured Mayday, you load up in San Francisco for the next section set in the burning City Hall. Stacey, the obligatory blonde, is trapped in a lift and must be rescued. This section is an icon driven arcade adventure and is surprisingly easy to use.

A clue to Stacey's rescue can be found in the film, which is closely followed. There are around 75 rooms in the building, many holding objects vital for her rescue - a picture of the burning Hall is included showing your position in relation to the fire. The graphics depicted in this review were taken from a pre-production copy of the game.

The final game places you deep within the mines. Mayday returns in this scene, though you may have to find her first. Only she can winch you down to the ticking bomb and winch you back with the detonator.

Objects litter the mine and can be used in the same manner as those in City Hall. The grappling hook is the first you will stumble across and is vital. Conveyor belts may be activated - but tread carefully.

You can play along to the original Bond theme tune, to Duran Duran's single of the same name or switch off for blessed quiet and a chance to hear Bond introduce himself: "My name is Bond, James Bond".

Clare Edgeley

Publisher: Domark
Price: £10.99
Memory: 48K
Joystick: Sinclair Kempston, Cursor


Overall: 4/5

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Computer & Videogames Issue 47, September 1985   page(s) 26

MACHINE: Spectrum
PRICE: £10.99

Dressed in my Savile Row dinner jacket with eyebrows raised quizzically in best Roger Moore fashion, I approached the computer.

Would A View to a Kill be my toughest review? Unlike my Martinis, would I be shaken and stirred?

Evil mastermind, Max Zorin, plans to blow up Silicon Valley with a nuclear device in order to corner the market in microchips. You have to stop him.

The game is based on the three main action sequences from the film and follows the plot quite faithfully.

As with the films and books, Bond can't be killed, although he does get a little damaged.

His performance is measured on his ability to save the world against the clock.

The first part of the game is The Paris Chase. Assassin May Day leaps off the top of the Eiffel Tower and glides across the city on a parachute.

Bond must follow by car around the streets in an effort to catch her when she lands.

This part of the screen combines three-dimensional graphics and plan view of the city. Bond must shoot and steer his way out of trouble to capture May Day. If successful, he will get a code which passes how well you've done into the next part of the game.

The City Hall Escape finds Bond trying to rescue girlfriend Stacey from the burning building. He must search his way through 75 different 3D screens, collecting objects to help him escape. If successful, the action moves to the final section - The Silicon Valley Mine.

Here Bond races around the mine's different levels using various objects, lifts and codes to defuse the bomb - all against the clock.

And just when things are getting really tough and Bond would love to send out an SOS, May Day returns to the game.

By this time she's deserted the evil Zorin and helps Bond to avert mayhem, death and destruction.

Some of the graphics in A View to a Kill are a little crude. But overall it's a fun game which does credit to the film.

Graphics: 7/10
Sound: 7/10
Value: 7/10
Playability: 7/10

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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