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Spy Hunter

Atari 2600

Sega 1983




Ahh... Spy Hunter, one of the greatest games ever made. Surprisingly the 2600 manages to give us a halfway decent translation of it too. This game has a lot that other 2600 games simply don't have, like a scrolling play field, background music, halfway decent graphics, plus most of the major elements of the arcade. If such attention were paid to other 2600 games things might have been different.

While not the best translation in the graphics and sounds department, compared to other 2600 games the graphics here kick ass. Each car is distinctive and easy to recognize, plus all the enemy types from the arcade are represented - the bulletproof bumpers, the limousines, the cars with the blades on the tires, etc. They look decent enough (although primitive, and each is only one color. But you can't have everything.) Sound consists of machine-gun-beeps and car-explosion-dongs, adequate. But the Peter Gun theme plays in the background, and it actually sounds like the Peter Gun theme. Seeing how most 2600 games don't even have background music makes this a big plus.

The game really excels at is in gameplay, which is actually better than most vintage computer versions from the same era. The game plays as fast as the arcade, and just like the arcade the cars surround you, try to knock you off the road, etc. The little weapons truck shows up too and is very easy to get into, all you have to do is run into it. This actually makes the game a little bit easier than the arcade version where you had to line it up properly. Believe it or not this game shipped with a controller-thing that let you use TWO buttons! WOW! One for forward weapons (machine guns, missiles) and one for backwards weapons like oil slicks and smoke screen. You can however just use the 2nd player controller instead.

This game even includes the boat levels (although I've never gotten that far myself.) Truly an impressive title for 2600 collectors that show what the system was capable of.

Graphics: Really good for a 2600 game.

Sound: Background music. That says it all.

Gameplay: Sweet, like cherries.


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