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Domark Ltd
Arcade: Solo beat-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K

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Andy Hutchinson
Chris Bourne

Doom, death, destruction, disruption, dissection, distortion and, above all, distress. Yes, one of the most violent arcade games in a long time has been converted to the Speccy. It's harder than a very hard thing that's been lovingly soaked in creosote for three days.

But then, when was the last time you played a computer game which didn't have any violence in it? Personally, I think you're far more likely to have been knocked down by a king size skateboarding strawberry with sunglasses on, than have played a game untainted by the ghoulishness which is icky violence. (Rant, rant, rant! I think it's time for your afternoon lie down Andy. Linda)

Pitfighter is a beat-'em-up, pure and simple. However, in this particular game there are none of those namby-pamby rules like no hitting below the belt, no head-butts, no knives no chainsaws and no harsh words. Nope, in this game you can use any means at your disposal to knock out your opponent. And that includes shouting harsh words at them.

The game is played in a kind of make-shift arena. It's make-shift because the limit of the ring is actually determined by the spectators. It's all remarkably reminiscent of those altercations at school when everyone would gather round in a big circle and shout, "fight, fight, fight". The peeps around me edge do a good deal of jumping up and down, although they aren't a very vociferous bunch.


At the beginning of the game you can choose your character. You've got a choice of three - Buzz, Ty or Kato. Each of these psychotic personages has their own brand of peculiar fighting skills and, therefore, varying chances against their sadistic opponents. Take a peek at that lovely box over there and swoon over the tanned and muscley fighting machines.

Once you've decided which character you'd like to control, you can really get into the match. Your first opponent is a grisly chap named The Executioner. He isn't too hard to beat, although as you progress through me game you'll find yourself up against harder and harder scrapping kings and queens.

To win a fight all you've got to do is knock your opponent out. You can tell how well (or how badly) you're doing from a bar meter at the top of the screen. There are seven options open to you in the fight arena. You can jump, duck, kick, jump kick, defend punch, perform your secret funky move or pick up an object. So, if you can anticipate what your opponent is going to do, you can either block him or make sure you whack him first.

On each level mere are various collectables. There are knives, bales of hay, and even motorbikes that can be sent smashing into your opponent. (Oh, and we'd just like to make clear that we don't recommend throwing motorbikes around after a heavy lunch - you'll only strain yourself!)

After every two victories a grudge match takes place. If you've been playing in the two-player option then your opponent is your friend. If not, you get to give a computer-controlled character (who's wearing exactly the same as you) a pasting. Succeed, and yet more money is pumped into the old purse to be spent down at the pit-fighters tuck shop.

Plain, honest-to-goodness violence it might be, but Pit-Fighter does get a bit boring. It'll probably end up being one of those games that you load up in order to have a quick scrap with a mate. Y'see, the computer players get a bit samey (especially if you don't progress very fast), so the two-player option is your best bet. Personally, I think I'll stick to my Etruscan stamp collecting, thankyou very much.

A simplistic but largely enjoyable beat-'em-up which owes much to International Karate.


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This chappy is an ex-professional wrestling champ. His greatest asset is the fact that he's musclebound dude with incredible amounts of power in his hefty loins. His special moves are the body slam, the head butt and the piledriver.


The resident kick boxer and the quickest pit-fighter in the ring. His incredible agility means that he can creep up on his opponents and give them a hefty smack in the back. Ty's special moves include the spin kick, the flying kick and the roundhouse.


A very grisly customer. This friendly fellow is a 3rd degree karate black belt. Kato is a bit of a swift customer who specialises in unpronounceable oriental type moves. Oh, and he's also a dab hand at the combo punch, the flip kick and the backhand.

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you've got to be super-fit to win a fight in the 'pit'. Here, James (top right), tries to get into his XR£i through the ashtray.

Lawks missus! Watch what you're doing with those stilettoes. Hang on, you've got a hole in your fishnets, my dear.

Kerumbs, watch where you're putting that boot, Mr Weirdo. Nobody told me about this kind of pit-fighting injury.

It's blimmin' typical, you fight your way through a bevy of hefty opponents only to be awards a lousy purse. I mean come on, real me don't carry handbags!

Haha! Bet you didn't expect my breath to be quite so bad did you? Serves you right for trying to hit below my hand-wrought belt, you incredibly ugly (and rude) chap.