Gold Run is the successor to the game Blockbusters, both based on the popular TV quiz series for teenagers in which Sixth Forms and Technical Colleges compete against each other to win some very impressive prizes.
In the television programme, after a team has completed a round successfully, one member is invited to stand on the Hot Spot and take part in the Gold Run. In this section of the game a player has to complete a horizontal path across the set of hexagons by correctly answering a number of questions. In the grid are a number of five shapes each containing the initial letters of a phrase or popular string of words. The Player selects the initial letter of the hexagon which he or she wants to answer questions on, and the question then appears at the bottom of the screen. For example, the initial letters might be N.S and the question would follow: 'Another name for the Aurora Borealis' the answer should then be typed in 'Northern Lights'. If an answer is wrong the hexagon goes black, but if the question is answered correctly it goes yellow and the player can progress to the next hexagon in a logical route across the board.
Spelling and punctuation all count against you in the Spectrum version if you make a mistake, but generally, if a question is correct but mis-spelt then you do get a second chance to answer it. Although the questions tend to remain at the same level, the time limit in which you must complete the game goes down each time. On the first level this is 236 seconds, but at level nine it is only 38 seconds, so fast and accurate typing as well as a smart brain are necessary. After each game has been completed, the highest score so far compared with your own effort is shown. There is also the option to restart the game or continue in the series.
Unfortunately, there are no mega prizes to be won in this version of Gold Run, not a Blockbusters sweatshirt in sight, and no effervescent Bob Holness presenting!