Live and Let Die

by Byron Nilsson, Mark Cooksey, Paul D. Walker, Peter Tattersall, Steinar Lund
Domark Ltd
Sinclair User Issue 80, Nov 1988   page(s) 22,23

Label: Domark
Author: Elite
Price: £8.95
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Jim Douglas

Better late than never, eh? It was only about fifteen years ago that the movie came out and Domark have snapped up the licence.

Live and Let Die actually began life as Aquablaster by Elite and it hasn't actually undergone a huge facelift since we saw it a couple of months ago. Still such is the way of the lumbering monster that is the software industry. It's actually a reasonably enjoyable escapade. Very seen-it-before 3D blow-up the enemy while racing around, but it's perfectly competently put together.

If you can remember the movie, I'm sure that the boat chase sequence will have lodged itself in your memory. Pretty good job really, since the whole game revolves around this scene. Actually, I confess to being a teensy bit confused, since you race your boat and chase bad guys all over the world, from New Orleans (as in the movie) to the frozen wastes of somewhere or other, and even across the Sahara desert (yeah, I know). Personally I'd rather have had a bit more variety, maybe even a car chase on the same format would have been better.

As you race along the waterways, numerous hazards will appear in your path. There are mines which are dropped by enemy jet boats and logs and ice floes and gun implacements on the banks. All of these can be dealt with in a particular way. Some can be vaulted, others simply shot to bits.

The biggest worry, other than dodging the mines, is keeping your fuel level up. By running over the fuel canisters dropped by helicopters it can be boosted. As a result there's a lot more swerving around to be done than it first appears. You really do need to pick up virtually every can if you're going to get through to the end.

Graphically we're not talking major sophistication. The objects don't really move at a particularly impressive speed, either, but you do get a reasonable feeling of being charge of a boat that's slightly too powerful for it's own good. I could never quite manage to steer myself out of trouble - I was just going too fast (impetuosity of youth, eh? - GT)

The bad guys in boats don't really prove to be too much of a problem. Indeed, they keep a pretty low profile throughout most of the game. Personally I found the land-mounted gun installations to be far more deadly; almost impossible to shoot from the water, they'd sling out a grenade at me just as I was passing.

Don't be fooled into thinking that Live and Let Die is in any way a half way realistic representation of the film. It just isn't. It is a pretty reasonable bash, however, and should keep you going for a couple of hours while you're waiting for your copy of Operation Wolf to make it to the shops.

Graphics: 70%
Sound: 50%
Playability: 60%
Lastability: 60%
Overall: 60%

Summary: Reasonable though largely non-earth shattering game with tres-flimsy tie in. Fair.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 101, Jul 1990   page(s) 34

Label: Encore
Price: £2.99
Reviewer: Chris Jenkins

The name's Bond, James Bond. You might have heard of me. I used to be a top secret agent before the hormone injections stopped working and I had to retire. Now they've replaced me with some upstart from the Royal Shakeapeare Company, and all I have left is my memories, and they're a bit shakey.

One affair I remember well is the Live and Let Die job. It was all to do with a Caribbean dictator planning to destroy America by flooding the country with free drugs. Good luck to him, I said, but M thought otherwise, and I was ordered to deal with the evil Dr Kananga. Imagine my surprise when my exploits were turned into a computer game several years later, and imagine how far my eyebrows rose when I saw what a rotten job they'd done of it. Her Majesty's Secret Service got hold of information indicating that the game was the result of a deal between two shady underworld groups.

D.O.M.A.R.K. and E.L.I.T.E., who discovered that they were working on two such similar games that they decided to merge them together - a pity the result had nothing to do with my adventures. I don't even appear in the game myself - the star of the whole thing is a speedboat!

As part of the mission I have to steer the boat along four waterways; a target practice run, South American jungle, Norwegian Fjords and Middle East Deserts (all very good training for an attack on a Caribbean island, you'll agree). My boat's armed with machine guns to deal with enemy speedboats, mines, fuel drums and other obatacles, and I have to leap over logs, steer through tunnels and negotiate narrow waterways. There are passing helicopters, and riverside gun emplacements to deal with too, but you never get the feel of break-neck speed that gets the old adrenalin going. And damn me if I could find the controls to launch the three missiles I need to smash lock doors; press A+Spacebar as it says in the instructions, and nothing happens. Better have a word with Q about that.

The landscapes are quite pretty but very samey, basically just different colours; they move quite smoothly, but not as smoothly as the belly-dancers in the Purple Pussycat club in Cairo. And they don't even use the music from the film - probably that notorious international terrorist McCartney would have demanded too much in the way of royalties.

On the whole this is one mission I would rather have forgotten. Now let me tell you about the time Goidfinger strapped me to a table and tried to turn me into a soprano with his laser beam...

Graphics: 69%
Sound: 50%
Playability: 56%
Lastability: 45%
Overall: 51%

Summary: This one should be locked in HM Government's files and kept top secret.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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