Bally Midway‘s classic Spy Hunter is a thrilling overhead racing game that set arcades alight back in 1983.
Actually, Spy Hunter is more of a survival game than anything – the aim being: to make it to the next checkpoint before the timer runs down, and without dying. Which is easier said than done.
The Interceptor car that you drive is equipped with forward-firing machine guns as standard and can pick up extra weapons from special vans as the game progresses. The Interceptor also has low and high gears, although driving along at top speed is highly risky. A head-on crash with almost anything at top speed will destroy your car. So high gear should be reserved for quick bursts of speed needed to get out of danger.
Even in low gear the road zips along at a terrifying speed; it also twists and turns, splits, and narrows, so you have to really be alert with your steering. Other road users must be avoided. Harming any civilian vehicles will suspend scoring for a short while. Enemy cars are a different matter entirely and must either be destroyed or avoided.
Spy Hunter contains a few other surprises too, including a transition to a speed boat on water, made possible by driving through a special boathouse that appears every now and then.
The game has been converted to pretty much every format imaginable, and also cloned mercilessly. Spy Hunter is a solid gold retro gaming classic and is still great fun to play now.
More: Spy Hunter on Wikipedia