Elite Systems Ltd
Not Known
1985
Arcade: Race 'n' Chase
£6.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

36
Chris Bourne

Here's another in the licenced TV series from Elite, the software house that specialises in putting the small screen on the small screen. Most players will surely know the W series, so the scenario is simple to describe. Basically, Boss Hogg is up to his old tricks again and has threatened to seize the General Lee as collateral unless Bo and Luke come up with the £5000 they owe him. So they decide to enter the Annual Hazzard Cross Country Road Race to win the first prize of - guess what, yup it's £5000. Boss Hogg and the entire Hazzard County Police Force are revving up to stop them.

What we have here could basically be described as a ' Moon Buggy' game set on Earth. Instead of a moon buggy there is the boys' car, the General Lee. Instead of craters and mines the boys in their car have to avoid vehicles driven by the various nasties. These can be jumped over or destroyed by lobbing sticks of dynamite ahead of the car. Instead of alien flying saucers Jethro the ace-helicopter pilot flies over, firing down at them, followed by Jake in his aeroplane and Cletus the balloonist.

The screen shows the roadway (which varies in width) and the background landscape scrolling past, while the General Lee sits in the centre of the screen able to change lanes (up and down) and alter speed (which alters the scrolling speed effectively). Enemy vehicles approach from in front and behind. Again, like a 'Moon Buggy' type game, Dukes of Hazzard is played in stages, in this case from village to village. At the end of each stage the hazzards(!) increase. Scoring is by distance travelled and by the removal of hazards as well as a bonus score for each stage.

The only obstacle that mustn't be destroyed is Daisy in her jeep.

CRITICISM

'There is something about Elite, I don't quite know what it is, but they seem to use the same scrolling routines for the last three games. It would be nice once in a while to have a bit of variety. As usual the graphics are up to a very high standard with a good parallax movement visible in the landscape, using large, bright, clear playing characters - probably the strongest side of Elite. When I heard Dukes of Hazzard was to be released, I wondered what sort of game they could produce around the N series; it was proved that not much could be done with it and Elite have produced a game with no real game element in it. Do people really want continuously scrolling, jumping games where if you try to kill your opponents (computer) you stand a good chance of getting killed yourself? Isn't this a bit over the top? I found the only point to this game boils down to either killing the opponents or jumping them. People seem to like the ' Moon Buggy' games that this resembles, but here the actual game elements don't really work together to provide any lasting appeal, which is a shame, because it could otherwise have been quite a good game. An example can be made of Dukes of Hazzard to show that a well known TV title must not be allowed to sell a game when the game itself Is not up to scratch, whereas Elite are trying to sell a game on the basis that it will be dangerous, exciting and action-packed, when this one is not'

'It struck me immediately that a sense of excitement has been attempted by making the player keep hitting the accelerate key to keep up to speed (not hitting it slows you down), a kind of DT Decathlon idea. Actually this becomes irritating after a bit as it has little to do really with the game idea. Also you have to discover this fact for yourself, as it isn't mentioned in the inlay instructions. It has to be said that every thing is excelllently animated with nice bouncing wheels and characterful objects. The General Lee's leaps are athletic and if you are hit the way the car somersault's to a halt is good. But these are all peripherals to a good game, not a good game in themselves. Dukes of Hazzard disappoints with its lack of real excitement or objectives.'

'Elite seem to be sticking to their series tie-ins. Dukes is quite a good game with graphics which are fairly smooth and detailed. Acceleration is achieved using the decathlon/Olympic game method ie, press like mad. This is good as it makes you feel a part of the game. The actual game is playable but not quite as addictive. I enjoyed Dukes and I expect younger players will enjoy it even more. Originally I was rather sceptical of TV tie-jns assuming them to be gimmicks. Up to now most of them have been good games too. As long as this continues I shall continue to enjoy them.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: M to accelerate, SYM SHIFT (toggle) to change lane, X to jump and Z to throw
Joystick: Kempston and Sinclair 2 automatically detected
Keyboard play: responsive, although continually hitting the M key gets irritating
Use of colour: very good
Graphics: excellent, good Parallax feeling
Sound: below average spots effects, horn sound okay
Skill levels: 1, progressive difficulty
Lives: 3
Screens: continuous scrolling
General Rating: Great graphics but not much game.

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