Copyright/Publisher: Elite Systems Ltd, Programming: Dave Thomas, Graphics by:
Release Year: 1987, Genre: Racing Sports, Number Of Players: 1 or 2
Incredibly compulsive and exciting racing action from Elite
Buggy Boy is Elite's officially licensed conversion of Tatsumi's off-road
arcade race game.
In keeping with other games of this genre, the player simply has to race
between two points on a circuit within a set time, avoiding hazards along the way.
At the start, one of five courses is chosen: Offroad, North, South, East or
West. Each course is split into five different sections which are raced against
the clock. When the selection has been made, the race begins.
The player's view of the proceedings follows the convention of being from
behind and above, with the buggy displayed in the centre of the screen. The
two-speed car follows the twisting course, and steers left and right to avoid
hazards, including trees, boards, rocks, water, lamposts and walls. Hitting any of these stalls
the vehicle, and precious time is wasted as it's restarted.
In addition to the normal driving mode, the car also jumps when it hits logs,
and runs along on two wheels when it touches stones or tree stumps. These extra
abilities cone in useful when avoiding hazards. As well as dodging the dangerous
obstacles at breakneck speed, the player also runs over bonus flags for extra points,
and steers through bonus point and time gates.
On completion of a stage, extra time is added to the total, and the player
continues on the next section of the course. Any time bonuses collected plus
the time remaining from the previous stage are added to that allowed for
completion of the latter.
Later levels become increasingly harder, with more hazards to avoid, and
banked bends, tunnels and bridges to test the player's driving abilities. A football
is also occasionally encounterd, and is driven into for extra points.
Who says the racing genre is dead? Buggy Boy proves that the racing format is
very much alive and kicking. It's rare that a computer game manages to give a real
feeling of thrill and exhileration, but Buggy Boy manages it!
The graphics are absolutely superb - I've never seen such a smooth and
realistic 3D effect, and the 'feel' of the control method is tremendous. The
buggy responds in exactly the way you wish, and that makes for some really
involving and exciting racing.
There are five different tracks to race, varying from the relatively easy
Offroad, to the mean East. Each one has its own distinct character and requires
a different approach to complete it. On Offroad you can burn along and go for
bonus flags, but the hazard-filled South track requires some dextral driving.
What I like most of all is that Buggy Boy remains totally addictive even
when the courses have been completed. It's not only the feeling that you can
better your top score, but there's something in the gameplay that makes it
enjoyable to play time and time again. Brilliant stuff Elite, how about a
Buggy Boy II?
There are two things that set Buggy Boy apart from other games of this type:
the use of graphics and the control method. Others may look better but none are
so effective (Super Cycle included), and no other game feels so good.
The buggy is very responsove and goes exactly where you want it to, creating
a perfect feeling of involvement: you get totally wrapped up in the proceedings.
The speed of the action is a high contributing factor and the variety between
levels really makes it a lasting proposition. There are racing games and
racing games - but there's only one Buggy Boy!
The worst thing about this month was Buggy Boy - I had to stop playing it to
write some reviews! If you think I'm joking, just try stopping once you've
The designers have built the courses so cunningly, that hitting one
too many obstacles means you coast to a stop a few agonizing inches from the
finish line - and you have to try again just to see if you can get those
On top of that, there are quick, clear graphics that are very reminiscent
of the original, atmospheric sound effects, and masses of tracks - five
courses, each with five stages should keep the best player going for days.
Buggy Boy is a winner all the way. Buy it!