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US Gold Ltd
Arcade: Vehicle Combat
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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Clare Edgeley
Chris Bourne

ONE OF THE more successful arcade games of last year looks set to have potential double agents roaring up to their local shops in hot pursuit for a copy of the game.

Sega has recently licensed Spy Hunter to US Gold and continues the trend of arcade games crossing the Atlantic as computer software.

Shades of the movie The Italian Job creep into the game which places you in the key role of a spy trying to escape the country with a posse of double agents on your tail.

Luckily your turbo-charged car could have been built for James Bond and will become amphibious, taking to the water like a drought-stricken duck.

The chase is fast and furious, skidding down stretches of icy road and hair-pin bends. You can shoot at the agents, try to bump them off the road, but blasting innocent civilian drivers will be to the detriment of your score.

You have a bird's eye view of the road which scrolls vertically downwards - the zig-zags are hair raising and do not leave much room for overtaking.

One innovative touch to the game is the weapons van. just as in The Italian Job, the van drives past with ramps lowered. Should you be quick enough to drive in, the car will be re-armed with oil slicks, smoke screens and rockets - handy when shooting at the bomb-dropping helicopter. However, all weapons but the machine gun are lost if you crash.

The game is obviously not as fast as the arcade version, but in all other cases it is an almost exact replica - except that there is no gear stick or accelerator. Those features are, however, notoriously difficult to fit onto the Spectrum.

Clare Edgeley

Publisher: US Gold
Price: £7.95
Memory: 48K
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair, Protek