Speed Buggy

aka: Buggy Boy
Moby ID: 10470


Buggy Boy is a race game, but not just an ordinary race game. There are five different routes, offroad, north, east, west, south. The offroad course loops around back to the start, the others are long runs with a distinct beginning and ending. You must complete each leg before the time runs out.

Along the way you can pick up all kinds of bonuses. The colored flags are 30 points each, collect all colors in the order as indicated at the top of the screen to get 1000 bonus points. There are several gates the give you 100, 250 or 500 points, and a time gate. Drive through a time gate to collect it, you receive two seconds extra time upon completing a leg. Occasionally there will be a soccer ball on the road, hit it and it will fly away and you get 2000 points.

There are bridges and tunnels, be careful not to fall off the bridge into the water or crash into the tunnel wall. There also are obstacles like boulders, logs and fences. If you hit them it will cost you valuable seconds off your leg time. But if you hit a log or small stone just right, the buggy will ride on two wheels until you hit something again.


Credits (Commodore 64 version)

Programming by
Graphics by



Average score: 82% (based on 21 ratings)


Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 47 ratings with 3 reviews)

A very good conversion from Elite, with all the mechanics that made the coin-op version great

The Good
It's not uncommon that you will find racing games in each arcade that you visit, where the object is to race a series of opponents around a specific track and finish in one of the top three positions. Going against the trend is Buggy Boy. The original arcade version was so popular, and Elite has released a very flawless conversion to the Amiga.

What sets Buggy Boy apart from other racers is that there are no opponents that you have to deal with. You control a buggy who needs to get around a number of courses, avoiding obstacles on the road and trying to make it to the finish line in the shortest time possible. Contact with any rocks, trees, barriers, or the like can slow your progress down, but that's nothing compared to what happens if you crash into a tunnel or fall into water. Each course consists of five legs, and you must complete each leg within a reasonable amount of time before you can progress to the next.

The courses themselves have different kinds of landscapes that look amazing against the road. My favorite one is the night setting on the “West” course. The title screen is excellent, as is the buggy that you drive. It has smooth animations, and the mud spurting out of it is a nice touch.

There are some objects that can be used to help you get across checkpoints. For example, flags allow you to collect a number of points, sticks in the middle of the track make you jump over dangerous obstacles ahead, and stones make you drive on one side. There is even a soccer ball that you can kick, though I don't see any point in doing this. The highlight of the game is driving up a gray slope, collecting as many flags as you can.

There is some sound effects during the game, mainly from collecting flags, passing a checkpoint, and getting many “TIME” flags. The sound of the buggy's engine adds to the atmosphere of it all. At the time of its release, there was no need for background music. The only actual music that plays is when you select a course and when you earned a name in the high score table.

The fact that you can outsmart yourself in terms of how many legs you complete (as well as topping your high score) adds to the replayability. I only completed the first course so far, but I am not very good at the others yet.

The Bad

The Bottom Line
Buggy Boy is a faithful conversion from Elite, with great graphics and sound. There is nothing more satisfying than performing tricks (like riding on one side or jumping) in an attempt to finish a leg. The game has “just one more go” written over it, as you try conquering each course as well as topping your high score. Great stuff.

Amiga · by Katakis | カタキス (43091) · 2014

A rush against time and... boulders

The Good
This game is a conversion from an arcade hit featuring a stunning three-screen cab, a great innovation given the year. Obviously, Commodore 64 couldn't handle such a feature, but somehow Elite managed to keep the spirit of original game, making a great racing game in the process.

The graphic is really sharp to boot. You can find a variety of obstacles and side elements, changing from track to track, always appropriated and quite well drawn. Screen action doesn't slow down even if the screen is filled with flags, boulders, walls and fences. There are five stages in total, and each one has its own theme (except Offroad, a rip-off of the West stage), changing from snowy trees in North to sunny beaches in south.

Sound is quite enjoyable too, with various sound effects and short jingles during the race, plus a nice high score screen music. Engine noise isn't so tedious as it may seem first, that's because it's often covered by the sound of a flag or jump.

Gameplay is really simple, yet really funny: you must reach every check point before the time runs out, and in order to do this you have to dance between obstacles, trying to collect Time flags (there are three in each section, and they give two seconds each) and making the highest score in the process. Controls are simple: you accelerate/break/steer with control stick, and change from low to high gear (and vice-versa, when you crash into something) with the fire button.

Points are gained by simply racing, but you can raise them collecting 50, 100, 250 and 500 points flags, and hitting soccer balls (yeah, that's weird). 50 points flag are in various colors, and collecting them in a given color order (displayed on the right) gives you a bonus. If you manage to complete all stages in every track, your get some extra point according to your performance, and you're taken to the high score screen, where you can write your initials and eventually compare the result with friends or past games.

This is a difficult game. Every track, even the easiest of the lot (Offroad), gives a nice challenge, but time and patience (and some memory for certain sections) can let you go through all 5 locations without frustration.

The Bad
The game is almost flawless, but has one problem: you just race against time and score table, without a different challenge. You can't record your best time, and tracks are meant to be played once per time, as the game was not finished. Luckily, it's the only downside.

The Bottom Line
I'd recommend this game to anyone: it's funny and challenging, potentially a great party game (given his highscore oriented gameplay) and can perfectly fit a long gaming section as a short one.

Commodore 64 · by Mik_1_ (10) · 2009

A superb twist on the usual racer formula.

The Good
Buggy Boy's Atari ST conversion is one of the best racing games on the platform. While it may not be the fastest racer out there, it has gameplay by the bucketload -- and the fact it adopts a notably different formula to most other racers really helps it stand out.

While the heart of Buggy Boy is still beating the clock to various checkpoints, it's the game's focus on high scores that helps elevate it to classic status. Rather than simply driving flat-out and avoiding obstacles, Buggy Boy features a great balance between risk and reward as you attempt to collect flags and pass through gates in order to score points and extend your time limit further. You'll often have to deliberately court danger in order to attain the best scores.

The five different courses all have their own distinct feel, too. The Offroad course is a simple lap-based circuit in which new obstacles are gradually introduced each time around, while the others are point-to-point races with scenery that changes as you progress, giving a real feeling of going on a journey.

The Bad
Sound is a bit limited, but that's the nature of the original game to a certain extent. The home ports also don't move as fast as the original arcade game, and also lack the opponent drivers, making the game more of a time trial.

These are minor nitpicks though, particularly if you're unfamiliar with the arcade original; taken on its own merits, Buggy Boy is still a magnificent game.

The Bottom Line
Buggy Boy is a fantastic arcade racer, and should be an essential part of any Atari ST collection. Plus for my money, the Atari ST version, for once, actually beats the Amiga version -- the PSG sounds are somehow just that little bit more satisfying than the muffled sound effects on the Amiga port.

The C64 version is very good, also, though it has a markedly different feel from the 16-bit ports; less true to the arcade original in some ways, but still an excellent game in its own right.

If you've never played any version of this classic, now's a great time to fix that!

Atari ST · by MoeGamer (23) · 2023


1001 Video Games

The Arcade version of Buggy Boy appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

ZX Spectrum version

In the ZX Spectrum version, hitting an obstacle, like for example a boulder, will cause your buggy to explode. In all other versions, including the arcade original, hitting an obstacle will just make the buggy roll over.


  • ACE
    • October 1988 (issue #13) - Included in the Top-100 list of 1987/1988 (editorial staff selection)
  • Amiga Power
    • May 1991 (issue #00) - #78 in the "All Time Top 100 Amiga Games"
  • Commodore Force
    • December 1993 (Issue 13) – #94 “Readers' Top 100”
  • Commodore Format
    • January 1991 (Issue 4) - listed in the A to Z of Classic Games article (Great)


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Der.Archivar.

Atari ST, Amiga added by 80. Arcade, J2ME added by Kabushi. ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC added by Martin Smith.

Additional contributors: Kabushi, BdR, Jo ST, FatherJack.

Game added September 28, 2003. Last modified November 26, 2023.