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E&J Software
Alan J. Clayton
Sport: Management
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Marcus Berkmann
Chris Bourne

Another oldster dug up by US Gold's cheapie offshoot Kixx, Spy Hunter actually features the copyright date 1983 on its cassette inlay - a brave move in today's novelty-obsessed market. But even though Spy Hunter is older than Bob Monkhouse, and has been on more compilations than Wizard's Lair, it's still thoroughly playable in a gnarled sort of way. It's interesting, too, to see that road racing games with guns didn't start with Road Wars.

Spy Hunter, if rather more modest in intention than the later blasters, doubles as a mildly diverting shoot 'em up as well as a racer. Seen from helicopter level, the game charts your attempts to shoot -- or at least overtake - everything in sight, while remaining resolutely alive yourself. if this sounds a bit like an episode of Highwayman without the hairstyles, that's not too far away. Occasionally you switch from Spy Car to Spy Boar, and it's off for a merry fizz on the river - if you can avoid the barrels, torpedoes and so forth. It's good unpretentious fun, with one unforgiveable bug, once the game is over, you have to load up from scratch. Tut, tut, Kixx - get your act together.