They're certainly cheap, but are they cheerful? Marcus Berkmann rootles around in the YS Lucky Dip...
Reviewer: Marcus Berkmann
Another oldster dug up by US Gold's cheapie offshoot Kixx, Spy Hunter actually features the copyright date 1983 on its cassette inlay - a brave move in today's novelty-obsessed market. But even though Spy Hunter is older than Bob Monkhouse and has been on even more compilations than Wizard's Lair, it's still thoroughly playable in a gnarled sort of way. It's interesting, too, to see that road racing games with guns didn't start with Road Wars.
Spy Hunter, if rather more modest in intention than the later blasters, doubles as a mildly diverting shoot 'em up as well as a racer. Seen from helicopter level, the game charts your attempts to shoot - or at least overtake - everything in sight, while remaining resolutely alive yourself. If this sounds a bit like an episode of Highwayman without the hairstyles, that's not too far away. Occasionally you switch from Spy Car to Spy Boat, and it's off for a merry fizz on the river - if you can avoid the barrels, torpedoes and so forth. It's good unpretentious fun, with one unforgiveable gub, once the game is over, you have to load up from scratch. Tut, tut, Kixx - get your act together.
Roger: As the wrapper sez, this is hardly a game, and with the throwaway line like that, US Gold aren't telling any lies. It's actually another driving number crossed with a liberal dose of shootiebangs. The action occurs on a scrolling map illustrating the road or waterways available for pursuit and destruction of a nasty collection including Road Lords, Switch Blades, Barrel Dumpers, Enforcers, Copters and yer actual Doctor Torpedo. (Any relation to Dr. Findlay? Ed.)
Apart from steering the 'vehicle' either on land or the blue-representing-wet stuff without crashing, the player is required to insert it back into a 'weapons van' at periodic intervals, for replenishment of ammunition, bacon sarnies or whatever. The unpleasantries which share the passing scenery have to be dealt with in various terminal manners, or avoided altogether. Really, controlling this optimistically called 'turbo-charged race car/hydro speed boat* could be a satsifying business if one was only born yesterday. For those of us who've been around it stands out as an exercise not a little long in the tooth. As the man said, been there, done that before... 2/5 MISS
Ross: The name's Bond, James Bond - and all I've got to say about this car classic is no, Doctor No! 1/5 MISS
Dave: This one's fast and it's tricky and if you're not careful it'll drive you up the wall. If only it actually got somewhere. 2/5 HIT
If you've seen this one in the arcades, you'll need no encouragement from me. A fast and furious race game, with the narrow road ahead teeming with enemy agents bent on your destruction. Only your agility, driving and good shooting will save you, your country and probably civilisation.
On the roads there are three types of enemy car which must be dealt with in different ways: shooting up innocent bystanders is frowned upon, but good fun. On the water, there are no day-trippers, but the rocks, torpedoes and barrels will keep you busy. There is even a helicopter to contend with. Tricky if you haven't got your missile loaded up yet. You start off with just a machine gun, but missiles, smoke cannisters and oil pods can be acquired by entering the weapons truck.
The controls are easy to use, with steering, accelerator and brake. Weapons are fired by a combination of stick and fire button to control which weapon is fired.
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