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Domark Ltd
Arcade: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K

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Steve Keen
Chris Bourne

To say that the Bond games have got a bad reputation would be an understatement, they are truly terrible. So anyone taking on one of these films' licences is really up against it. "The best Bond game yet" decries the box, which is a bit like saying Bananarama are the most successful all girl British band in history - true, but like Bond computer games, there's not been too much in the way of competition...

Split into six scenes the game follows a cinematographic style. Everything scene has you chasing the Machiavellian Sanchez as he attempts to escape the retribution that Bond is determined to administer. From the first Helicopter shoot-'em-up scene, pursuing the bad guy in his jeep, to the last show down of the 18 wheel trucks playing bumper cars!

Real care has gone into this release with some of the best sound I've heard on the Spectrum (gun shots, whirring helicopter blades and explosions) interesting detailed and colourful graphics and a variety of different game styles all hint towards a monumental game. So what throws the Beretta 9mm or Walter PK45 in the works? That old nemesis of computer games - CONTROL. Honestly I've had more luck juggling snow flakes in the Sahara.

Poor control is nowhere more apparent than in the second scene. Bond is pinned down behind some barrels by Sanchez's henchmen with only 15 bullets in his Beretta. I was surrounded, did my best to take aim and... killed three oil drums, shot 11 bullets over a shed and, if the program had allowed, could've put one slug in my own foot! I got so fed up I decided to cut my losses and the rest of my lives and run! That's right - Bond secret agent ran away. I must have got 64 pixels before I was cut down in the dust.

If anyone out there can complete this without a cheat you're a better agent than me mister. Pity, because this one could have gone against the grain.

Label: The Hit Squad
Memory: 48K/128K
Price: £2.99 Tape, N/A Disk
Reviewer: Steve Keen

GARTH'S COMMENT: Some nice graphics have been spoilt here by the unthoughtful use of colour. Luckily it's still a good blast!

James Bond himself would have had a job completing this mission. It's just as well Timothy Dalton managed it in two hours and 13 mins. Shakes, but definitely doesn't stir!