In the year 2000, the annual Death Race is an established event. Bikers race around public freeways on the rampage and the police are unable to stop them. Judging the situation intolerable, the player of Road Warrior has custom-built his own car to halt the destruction.
From the title screen, four kinds of car - from standard to sporty - are selectable, each shaded with a choice of six colours and armed with front and rear weapons. Weapons are lost by being struck a number of times in the front or rear, but extra firepower and speed-up weapon bonuses are picked up at various points along the courses.
Pressing Fire launches the road warrior into the action, the screen scrolling horizontally from left to right over six sections of countryside. A pre-determined number of kills is required to reach the next level, beginning with five on the first.
At the top and bottom of the display, status panels reveal the speed (from 10mph to 89mph), fuel level, points, kills required and lives remaining. Colliding with bikers and cars loses fuel, initially at 799 units, and increases the number of kills necessary to reach the next level. Should the fuel level reach zero or the car crash with parked cars or roadside obstacles, the game ends.
The action is basic to a fault: driving along one of only six horizontally scrolling levels and blasting vehicles at the front or rear is quickly tedious. The simple Spy Hunter format has been transformed... into a very dull shoot-'em-up, only rescued by its decent presentation and graphics: at least the four cars are individual and can be embellished with a variety of colour shades.
The roadside landscapes are reasonably drawn and varied, but the sound is terrible: a horrible, moaning tune accompanies a couple of feeble beeping and blasting effects.
Save your tenner for something more lasting.
The only differences between this and the three and a half year old Spy Hunter is that the latter scrolls vertically and is about 50 times more exciting.
The action is repetitive to an extreme, and hardly changes from level to level. Because the gameplay is so simplistic, it takes very little practise to master, and consequently any addictive qualities evaporate within a few goes.
The graphics are slick and the general presentation is good, but when they're crippled by gameplay as utterly appalling as this, they're not worth a light.
Road Warrior is a very limited and overpriced piece of rubbish that wouldn't even make the grade at budget price.
If you thought Spy Hunter was good, wait till you see Road Warrior! It'll *prove* to you that Spy Hunter was good!
But that's not all, for Road Warrior achieves three things: it reorientates the screen; it replaces a really useful arsenal with a set of guns which are all the same and it alerts the player to the fact that CRL have produced another bummer.
There's plenty of polish on the game, graphics and soundwise, but you might as well tart up a potato and try to get some enjoyment out of it. The game is ridiculously easy up to the fourth level, whereupon the screen restrictions either drive the player into rocks (ending the game instantly), into motorbikes which have just been destroyed (thus preventing them from being subtracted from the level quota for some reason), or into a booby trap which takes away all your car's weaponry.
Take it from me, this isn't a game you want to spend a tenner on.
Four choices of car and six colours to choose from; otherwise reasonable screen display and sparse instructions.
Smooth scrolling and fairly detailed backdrops complemented by colourful sprites.
Whining, annoying tune coupled with two hopeless sound effects.
The urge to view the next landscape is the only pull.
Once you've completed all the courses, nothing but masochism will draw you back.
A neatly presented, but simplistic and very tedious horizontally scrolling shoot-'em-up.