S.T.U.N. Runner
By Domark
Spectrum 48K/128K

Published in Crash #85

S.T.U.N. Runner

Come with me to the 21st century when the top sports event is S.T.U.N. (Spread Tunnel Underground Network) racing. Racing in the S.T.U.N. ship, 24 tortuous tracks await your skills as you aim to qualify for the Ultimate Challenge. The tracks are not free of obstacles: a variety of enemy craft stand between you and the top accolade of the S.T.U.N. racing world.

The Train is harmless but blocks your path, Mag Cycles are small and last moving, Drones move in packs and intelligently block your path. Armoured Drones are like normal Drones but are Indestructible and Flyers drop bombs on your bonce.

Help is at hand. You start the game with lasers and a press of the fire button will atomise all attackers (bar armoured drones). Also by collecting enough of the stars that appear along the route you can stock up with shockwaves (a sort of smart bomb). These stars also indicate the best route to take through the twisting tunnels. Not following the stars slows you down and time is of the essence 'cos each level is played against the clock.

S.T.U.N. Runner

Ideally, you should keep your speed up (as if you needed to be told): to this end watch out for the booster pads as these warp your craft to 900 mph for a short time.

Sounds great, doesn't it? But oh dear, oh dear: S.T.U.N. Runner is decidedly naff. For a start the graphics look as if they've fallen through a timewarp from the early days of the Speccy. The main sprite is OK but, try as I might, I couldn't tell what the hell the attackers were (one actually looks like a mobile dog poo). All I could find to do was to collect objects and blast the indescribable enemy craft. Plus playing this could damage your eyesight! One of the tunnel designs is so eye warping you can literally see moving patterns on your peeper as you look away from the screen. Immense fun in the arcades, but on the Speccy S.T. U.N. Runner does not provide the excitement or thrills to make it a reasonable game.

MARK ... 25%

Nick ... 33%

'Spectrum games went through a phase of being ultra slick in presentation and graphics around 1987. The programmers seemed to be bettering themselves all the time with great loaders and groovy graphic effects in all their creations. It's logical them to assume that games now should be mind-blowing. Unfortunately not. The best of the older programmers have trickled over to the 16-bit computers and we're left with badly put together games like S.T.U.N. Runner. It could easily have been written back in the early days of computing when a block moving across the screen got a CRASH Smash. The tunnel effect where black and white strips shoot out of the screen just destroys your eyesight after one game. I'm seriously thinking of sending Domark my next optician's bill! There is simply nothing interesting to do. You just fly about a bit in your craft, collecting stars and shooting the nasties. A bit of a miss.'

Mark CaswellNick Roberts

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