Commodore User


Buggy Boy
By Elite
Commodore 64/128

 
Published in Commodore User #51

Buggy Boy

Yipes! Another arcade conversion. But this is no recent mega licence, in fact it harks back to mid '85. Buggy Boy was a great game at the time though, helped along by its three screens giving a really wide-angled view of oncoming traffic, fences, trees, rocks and so forth. Buggy Boy nowadays strikes me as being the forerunner more than anything else of Out Run.

There are four courses and one practice track. Each one apart from the practice track is divided into stages, for which you are given seventy-five seconds to zip through in your dune buggy, which has a cute way of bouncing around the track as you accelerate. Sadly where Elite have tried to fit the three lanes onto one screen the graphics have been noticeably shrunk down to accommodate the compression down to a single screen for the computer version.

None of the features have been lost in the transference from the arcade version though. You have excellent features like footballs which can be rammed out of the way for bonus points, jump pads which do just that and leave you realistically bouncing out of control after landing, and ramps which, when ridden over, tilt the buggy onto two of its side wheels (it stays like that providing the vehicle is not steered too much). Speaking of steering, the Japanese would be interested in the design for this buggy, the road handling is so good no matter how tight the bend if you just let go of the joystick it will steer itself through the trouble spot (gripe, gripe, sorry Elite).

Buggy Boy

Some nice effects have been included in the game though, great touches like tunnels and bridges have been faithfully reproduced. The tracks are well designed too, with jump pads conveniently placed so that, if used, there is no way you're gonna reach that five-hundred point gate just coming up on the horizon. And there's flags as well, sadly they mostly seem to cover large rocks. Large buggy-crunching rocks.

You either like conversions or you don't. And because of the complexity of arcade machines nowadays it is increasingly harder to 'downgrade' onto the conventional 8-bit micro. But Elite have come up with a little gem here. The graphics are very well designed with one or two little faults here and there, such as glitches and wobbly rocks.

The sound is adequate but still confined to being the same old droning noise which seems to rear its very ugly head in absolutely every single car/race game I have ever played. Could I recommend an ancient two gear buggy with a top speed of 220mph slick scrolling and high addictiveness? Of course! Initially it takes a wee bit of getting into, but afterwards I'm sure you'll have no regrets at purchasing this game.

I hope Buggy Boy will set an example to other companies and they will forget about major TV/Film tie-ins and hydraulic mega arcade machines and get on with converting the arcade classics that have previously been overlooked. Buggy Boy is good, probably one of the most accurate conversions to date. If you're a fan it's a must; if you're not, it's a must.

Mark Patterson

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