S.T.U.N. Runner (Domark) Review | Amstrad Action - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Action

S.T.U.N. Runner
By Domark
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Action #66

S.T.U.N. Runner

Nothing can beat the excitement of driving down a dangerously narrow road like a complete maniac. Especially when you're driving an awesome machine, capable of travelling at speeds of 900 miles per hour.

Set in the future, S.T.U.N. Runner puts you in the driving seat of a futuristic racing vehicle. You have to race your way through a sequence of tunnels and roads, gulping stars for points and blasting your competitors as you go.

There are two types of terrain on which to race. Tunnels twist and turn all over the place, and you can travel on any part of the tunnel wall - whether it's the bottom, the sides, or even the ceiling! Roads are slightly less flexible - movement is strictly limited to travel along along the surface of the road itself.

S.T.U.N. Runner

The opposition come in several forms, but all have the same purpose: to stop you in your tracks. They do their damnedest to get in your way, and colliding with them slows you to a snail's pace, costing valuable seconds. Luckily you're armed with a laser gun, so you can blast the vermin off the road. Not very sporting, but in this game winning is everything, and you simply cannot afford the time it takes to out-manoeuvre them.

There are a couple of things to look out for on the road's surface. Stars can be collected to give you shockwaves - a smart bomb that destroys everything on screen at once. They also tend to be roughly in the fastest line round the track, so are well worth collecting.

Turbo boost pads are the other common collectable. Hitting one of these ramps apparently boosts you to travel at near light speed - a rather useful side effect of this is that you become impervious to damage from collision with other road-users. It's a neat trick if you know how to do it.

S.T.U.N. Runner

S.T.U.N. Runner was an arcade hit. Not because of devastating originality or stunning gameplay, though. It was because of the wicked speed that the whole thing moved at. The complicated 3D shapes and tunnel walls came towards you at a frightening rate. The computer version inevitably loses the speed of its arcade counterpart, however, and sadly this leaves little else. All that's left to do is trundle around the course and blast the easy-to-avoid enemies.

The programmers have attempted to boost the speed of the game by dropping the 3D graphics, and using sprites instead. This doesn't help matters. The graphics of the arcade were impressive; these are not. The tunnels are octagonal rather than round, for a start, which rather spoils things. An impression of speed has been attempted by rapidly cycling the colours of the tunnel. This makes you feel like you're at an acid rave rather than streaking down the tunnel at breakneck speeds. Watching all this for ten minutes just gives you a headache!

Domark has bitten off more than it can chew with S.T.U.N. Runner. It's an impossible task; there's just no way that the excitement and speed of S.T.U.N. Runner the arcade machine could be duplicated on a home computer. The product that they've come up with is simply unexciting and slow.

Second Opinion

S.T.U.N. Runner

S.T.U.N. Runner is great in the arcades, but only because it's so so smooth and fast. Take that away and you don't have much of a game left.

First Day Target Score

Reach level five.

The Verdict

Graphics 62%
The sprites and clear enough, but not a patch on the 3D arcade graphics.

S.T.U.N. Runner

Sonics 71%
There's a jolly little tune, but the in-game fx are limited.

Grab Factor 63%
It's very simple to play but there's not much to grab you.

Staying Power 48%
It soon gets boring and the strobing background gives you a headache!

Overall 56%
An over-ambitious project that's fallen flat on its face.

Adam Waring

Other Amstrad CPC464 Game Reviews By Adam Waring

  • Lords Of Chaos Front Cover
    Lords Of Chaos
  • Puffy's Saga Front Cover
    Puffy's Saga
  • Toobin Front Cover
  • Magicland Dizzy Front Cover
    Magicland Dizzy
  • Puzznic Front Cover
  • Virtual Worlds Collection Front Cover
    Virtual Worlds Collection
  • Quattro Combat Front Cover
    Quattro Combat
  • Wizard Willy Front Cover
    Wizard Willy
  • Twin World Front Cover
    Twin World
  • Robozone Front Cover