I was going to start this review by singing the title song of the movie, but I couldn't remember the words, so think yourselves lucky. The Spy Who Loved Me, despite being one of the older James Bond films around, is actually the most recent computer game. Not that it really matters, because the gameplay is linked to the movie in only the most tenuous way, but there you go anyway. What you get, game-wise, is a multi-sectioned game featuring Spy Hunteresque driving action, scrolling speedboat antics in a Spy Hunter vein, and underwater shoot-'em-uppy bits strongly reminiscent of, er, Spy Hunter.
But hey - this is no straight Spy Hunter clone. Nope, it's nowhere near that good. For a start, despite being composed of simple vertically-scrolling sections with hardly ever more than two things moving at a time, it's almost completely monochrome, which makes for very dull and largely featureless landscapes. Then there's the sound. It starts off promisingly (in 128K mode, at least) with a moderately funky version of the James Bond theme, but as soon as the program has to produce any other sound effect at all, the music stops in mid-bar and doesn't come back again, ever. The gameplay itself is hideously dull, and amounts to nothing more than learning the road/river/baddie layout of each level and remembering it. Since the most complicated thing you ever have to remember is whether to go left or right, this isn't too tricky a task, and if you've got plenty of time on your hands you'll finish the game the day you buy it.
'But Stuart', I hear you all cry, 'If the game's so short and easy, why do we need plenty of time?' Ah well, my little Honey Nut Loops, the reason you need plenty of time is that whenever you lose all your lives (not a very hard thing to do), you have to rewind the tape back to the beginning and start the entire game all over again. Yes, even on 128K machines. Since loading a single section takes longer than your game will have lasted, this quickly gets very wearing indeed. And since there's nothing in the game to make it worth all the faffing about, you'll very probably give up inside about half-an-hour. Dismal stuff, and no mistake.
When Bond creator Ian Fleming died, it's rumoured he was close to completion of a new Bond flick set in a secret agent's retirement home. Sadly, 'Bond - Age? Up Yours! failed to attract major financial backing and will probably never be seen.
But while everyone's attention was on Tarquin, Jerry slipped away on his boat.