Live And Let Die

Publisher: Encore
Machine: Commodore 64/128

Published in Zzap #64

Live And Let Die

Bond movies generally don't pay that much attention to realism, but Live And Let Die was an exception. The fictional Caribbean island of San Monique, ruled over by Dr Kananga and his voodoo-practising thugs, is shipping heroin to the US. But instead of invading, or imposing trade sanctions, the US calls on 007 to bust Kananga...

The early Seventies movie was the first of the old Bonds to be converted by Domark while they waited for another new one. But rather than program it themselves, they bought an Elite game that was about to be released as Aquablast. The result certanly doesn't compare with such Ocean masterpieces like RoboCop and The Untouchables (which try and represent as much as possible of the story). Instead the 007 logo is put on the instrument panel, and a new loading screen drawn for this above-average shoot-'em-up.

To defeat Kananga, Q has supplied Bond with a speedboat armed with a cannon (unlimited bullets) and missiles (limited). Damage drains the boat of fuel, which can be replenished by running over fuel tanks floating in the water. Besides dodging rocks, you can shoot enemy speedboats, jump into the air using ramps and avoid torpedoes dropped by enemy planes. In the movie the New Orleans speedboat battle wasn't that long, so in the game there are four practice missions. One is a simple target practice, others take place in the Sahara (?), the Artctic and South America. But you can enter the missions in any order.

While gameplay is tough and somewhat repetitive, it's well programmed (coming from the programmers of Buggy Boy), and a darn sight more impressive than Speedboat USA. The graphics are attractive and move well, while the intro tune is OK as are FX. Back in February '89, Kati was disappointed the game didn't improve upon the brilliant Buggy Boy, which it resembles, but the 3D is pretty nifty and lastability was okay. Maff complained about the tedious delay between missions and the tenuous connection with the movie.

70% was the overall mark, and over a year on it seems fair enough now it's on budget. Success depends rather too much on remembering the twists and obstacles - sometimes it's too hard spotting the gap in a line of rocks before it's too late - but it looks good, especially the attack planes and tunnel scenes, and plays okay.