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Vortex Software
Costa Panayi
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

Other Links

Will Brooker
Chris Bourne

95% Issue 20

You're a lone Vorton droid, pushing a highly brainfrying explosive device to the far end of an alien highway to blow up an enemy base.

The road is populated by various aliens resembling anglepoise Lamps and other dangerous household items (I gave them all names once but that was ages ago), and floating mines weave across the tarmac in dances of death.

Your only strategy is to block up or kill off the nasties on your first run, and then go back to get your slave droids and the bomb.

Highway Encounters graphics are still impressive today; as in TLL, the combination of flat background colour and detailed monochrome overlays works very effectively. All the roadside scenery is beautifully drawn, from the crops in the fields to the golden sands of the beach. The only trouble with the game is its difficulty.

I still wonder at CRASH's comment of the time 'it will be easy to complete and I will probably get bored with it' - after 2½ years I still can't clear the 30 zones and get the bomb to its destination within the time limit.

But Highway Encounter looks great (better, in fact, than its sequel - Vortex's Alien Highway, 88%/Issue 29) and would probably still sell as a budget game.


Screenshot Text

Beautifully difficult: Highway Encounter