Spy Hunter, BBC Micro

David Hoskins made this BBC Micro conversion of Spy Hunter for Micro Power, Sega and US Gold (not to mention Bally Midway) in 1986.*

It’s a strange conversion overall.

For starters: the scrolling play area is really vertical – more vertical than the arcade original – which is weird. Secondly, the roads are quite empty and there’s only one skill level (that I could find), so no way of increasing the difficulty or the amount of traffic. Thirdly, the speedboat sections come too frequently (the opposite of the arcade version, which is rare, and the NES version, which is super rare), which lessens their ‘specialness’.

Overall, the BBC Micro version of Spy Hunter is a mess. Yes, it’s slightly playable, but it isn’t much fun and it seems to be one of those conversions where the programmer didn’t care enough (or couldn’t see their mistakes) to make it a reasonable representation of the arcade game. Don’t listen to anyone who tries to tell you that this is a good game…

* = That’s a hell of a chain of command – four major games companies and they still can’t come up with a decent game… BBC Spy Hunter should have been a lot better considering those involved.

More: Spy Hunter on Wikipedia

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