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Spy Hunter (Commodore 64)

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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
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Written by  :  *Katakis* (37809)
Written on  :  Jan 11, 2005
Platform  :  Commodore 64
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

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Summary

Great chase game

The Good

Spy Hunter is such a simple, yet addictive, game that had arcade-goers insisting on "just one more go" as they would repeatedly insert quarters into the machine. The reason for this is that you can't beat the thrill of being chased across land and water by various types of enemies. Add to that the satisfaction of staying alive for a long time.

Unlike other games of its time, you don't start controlling your vehicle right away. Instead, you have to wait for the weapons van to pull up at the side of the road so that your spy car rolls out from the back of the van. The first thing I noticed right away is the excellent rendition of the Peter Gunn theme, which is easy to know off by heart. It blends in with the action that happens during the game.

A neat feature of this game is the ability to enter this little house and transform into this speedboat. When you do, you get to see the ripple behind it as it makes it way across the water. There is only one enemy here: another speedboat that drops mines behind in an attempt to stop you. You'll know when you are about to hit the water when you read a warning. Players that ignore this will find themselves on a broken bridge. The enemy cars have excellent artificial intelligence. Nearly all of them are capable of bumping you off the road, and the further you progress, the more tougher the enemies become, with the "switch blades" using their hub caps to make your swerve off the road. The animation of your car spinning out of control is great. Then you'll encounter choppers that drop bombs onto you when you get in their line of sight.

Also, the terrain changes if you last about ten minutes in the game, and some of it is difficult to navigate through. There is an icy surface that you car may slip on if you are not careful.

There are a number of weapons you can use to defeat enemies. You start out with mounted guns at the front of your car, but by entering weapons vans that appear from time to time, you can equip your car with other things such as oil slicks and smoke screens. This can be a pain for anyone catching up to you, as you can use the second joystick to leave behind something that will make the car serve off the road. A neat feature of this game is a timer that counts down from 999 and gives you unlimited lives until it reaches zero, so you can crash as often as you like in the meantime.

The Bad

Driving into a weapons van interrupts the low of the music, and it stops completely when your car explodes as a result of you running off the road or being shot at by an enemy.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, Spy Hunter is a great game where you see yourself driving along the road and killing enemy cars by either shooting your mounted guns at them or by ramming them off the road. In the first half of the game, you are supplied with infinite lives, allowing plenty of time for stuff-ups. What's great about the game is the variety of weapons that you can use, and the way you can enter the water and travel in your little speedboat. There is that excellent rendition of the Gunn theme and the nice terrain that changes as you further proceed in the game. Anyone who owns a Commodore-64 and are into chase games should give this one a try.