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Arcade: Vehicle Combat
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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David McCandless
Chris Bourne

Dr. A. Noid (certified mad scientist) thought he could conquer the world by manufacturing a totally addictive food substitute called Slu and getting the entire population of the world hooked on it. The problem was it worked. Slu replaced money, and money became paper. Whole cities were trapped by their addiction. Slu-junkies in killer cars roamed the street, hoping to dismember any unlucky Sunday drivers in an effort to find some Slu.

So a price is put on Dr. Noid's demented head. And you're a bounty hunter. And you've got an Armoured Tactical Vehicle (ATV to you), armed with a 50mm cannon and a battering ram. And Dr. Noid has sealed the cities so no one can punch his ticket. And you've got to break through three cities before you can punch the aforementioned ticket. And why not?

You have to steer your ATV around the city, searching out the elusive packets of Slu, avoiding Kamikaze cars, splattering mutant zombies on nearby buildings. Your ultimate aim is to find an Arena ticket and win the Arena race to proceed to the next sprawling metropolis.

Slu is a very important commodity. With it, you can restock on petrol and ammunition, and also tack some versatile hardware onto your aged ATV Things like turbochargers, airbrakes and battlearmour.

You see an aerial view of the city, mapped out as a grid of scrolling roads and buildings. You direct the aerial view of your car around tight corners and over bridges, keeping your eyes peeled for oil slicks, land mines and barricades.

The graphics are terrible. The buildings are just diagrammatic blocks and your car is a horrible collection of blocks. It only has eight points of direction so turning into a right angled comer is nearly impossible without colliding into a wall. And, to make matters worse, all the corners are right angled. The scrolling is smooth but the car is just so unwieldy. When the enemy cars spot you they surround you and won't budge until you shoot them.

Any addictiveness and challenge there might've been is lost in the frustration caused by the terrible graphics and control system. It's sheer disgust that puts this cassette on the shelf.

Horrible birds-eye viewed driving game, lacking in any good graphics, fun or playability. The kind of game articulated lorries were designed to run over.