Spy Hunter

Moby ID: 7668
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Description official descriptions

Originating in the arcades, Spy Hunter is a driving action game played from an overhead point of view. Your car is equipped with machine guns to help you get past the numerous enemies out on the road (be careful not to shoot any civilians, though!). Occasionally you will come across a weapons van, and if you drive into the back of the van your car becomes equipped with a second weapon (such as smoke screen, oil slick, or missiles). At several points the road splits and you can enter a boathouse which transforms your car into a boat temporarily. If you drive far enough the seasons change as well (watch out for icy conditions during winter!). The enemy cars will do anything to stop you, including running you off the road, firing guns from the back of a limo, or dropping bombs from a helicopter.

Spellings

  • Spyhunter - Alternate spelling

Groups +

Screenshots

Credits (Arcade version)

14 People

Developed by
Top Agent
Special Force Team
Audio (uncredited)

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 73% (based on 20 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 99 ratings with 3 reviews)

who doesn't like spy hunter!?!

The Good
it goes really fast. almost too fast, but it's fun and hypnotic, as all good games are. hard to believe the arcade version came out two decades ago.

The Bad
it can't keep my attention for more than a few minutes, since nothing new ever happens. even when you get to the boathouse all that changes is that you're driving on a blue background instead of grey.

The Bottom Line
a simplistic racing game that's a lot of fun but that gets boring very quickly.

NES · by Jeff Koerner (27) · 2003

Brilliant James Bond-esque style action racer.....

The Good
* Game of skill and ability.

  • Match wits with variety of different opponents.

  • Armed with a cool selection of weapons in James Bond-esque/Knight Rider style to knock-out enemy agents. Oil slicks anyone!

  • Colorful graphics and animations.

  • Brilliant conversion from the arcade game with no major loss in game play.

    The Bad
    Played for hours, but never could reach the end!

    The Bottom Line
    Easy to play action/arcade racing game in James Bond-esque style.

The game begins by reversing off 'weapons van' (inspired by Knight Rider?) onto the open road later goes towards waterway containing a boathouse with a speed boat.

The standard car is armed with machine gun gun, used to eliminate enemy agents. By re-entering the 'weapons van' more weapons (like a missile to take out helicopters, smoke screen, oil slick, etc) are collected.

Terrain color changes as play progresses like the road/water branches and forks, contributing to the atmosphere and speed of the game.

Enemy agents are plentiful and challenging, but not impossible with the weapons at your disposal or tactics to outmaneuver them. Some are smarter than others, like onroad - bulletproof Road Lords, deadly double-ended Switch Blades and in water - Doctor Torpedo does as the name suggestions, so does our Barrel Dumper.

Apple II · by Garcia (4821) · 2006

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.

Commodore 64 · by Katakis | カタキス (43087) · 2013

Trivia

1001 Video Games

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

Development

According to the magazine Retro Gamer (issue #2), the game was originally developed as James Bond licensee, but the publisher backed out because of the high licensing fees.

Remake

There is a freeware remake named Highway Pursuit released in 2003.

Awards

  • Retro Gamer
    • September 2004 (Issue #8) – #99 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
  • Zzap!
    • May 1985 (Issue 1) - #17 'It's the Zzap! 64 Top 64!'

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Super Spy Hunter
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Spy Hunter 2
Released 2003 on PlayStation 2, Xbox
Spy Hunter / Super Sprint
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Spy Hunter: Missile Crisis
Released 2004 on Zodiac
Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run
Released 2006 on PlayStation 2, 2006 on Xbox, 2009 on Windows
Spy vs Spy
Released 2005 on PlayStation 2, Xbox
Spy vs Spy
Released 1986 on NES, Amiga, 1989 on Atari ST...
Spy against Spy
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Related Sites +

  • AtariMania (Atari 2600)
    for Atari 2600: downloadable release; online version; cassette inlay; advertisement; additional material
  • AtariMania (Atari 8-bit)
    for (Atari 8-bit): downloadable release; software sets; advertisement; additional material
  • CPC-Power (in French)
    for Amstrad CPC: game database entry; package material; manual digitalizations; downloadable releases; additional material
  • Cambridge Centre for Computing History
    for (BBC Micro): exhibit reference ID CH4319; additional material
  • Lemon 64
    for C64: reviews; music; manual; cover art digitalizations; additional material
  • The International Arcade Museum
    extensive information about the arcade game machine
  • World of Spectrum
    for ZX Spectrum: downloadable releases; additional material including – cassete inlay, advertisement, instructions; player reviews; magazine references; magazine adverts

Identifiers +

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Servo.

Commodore 64 added by Quapil. ColecoVision added by PCGamer77. Browser added by HelloMrKearns. BBC Micro added by ZeTomes. Palm OS, Arcade added by Kabushi. Amstrad CPC added by Martin Smith. Atari 8-bit added by ZZip. ZX Spectrum added by James Glover. Antstream added by lights out party. Apple II added by RodeoInTheGreatWhiteNorth.

Additional contributors: formercontrib, Garcia, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack, ZeTomes.

Game added November 3, 2002. Last modified May 5, 2024.