48k cassette £9.95
You have to be good to be Bond. Fast reactions,
quick thinking and a degree of good fortune are some of the
qualities needed. Shame Timothy Dalton got the part in the film, but
at least now there's a chance for you to audition for The Living
Daylights – the computer game that is! Are you good enough to play?
You don't need to be handsome or be able to pull the ladies, or even
own a dinner suit, but you will need those qualities of fast
reactions, quick thinking and a great degree of good fortune to
survive the 8 levels of this difficult 'shoot `em up with a
The game follows the plot of the film quite
closely, so a trip to the pictures might help you figure out some of
the puzzles at each level. These are not difficult but you are
likely to lose several lives before you figure out just what you
need to do to survive each level. The game starts with target
practice in Gibraltar where you must splatter friendly SAS men on a
target range with a paint gun. Trouble is they are shooting back at
you and every hit loses you a point. Another problem is that one of
them may not actually be a target on your side, you'll have to find
him and kill him to go on to level 2.
Although armed initially with the paint gun, you
can change weapons at any time by selecting a new weapon with the
joystick from a panel at the bottom of the screen. In fact all
control is by joystick and this is one of the reasons that The
Living Daylights is such a challenge. The joystick controls a small
cross cursor which you use to pinpoint where Bond will fire his
chosen weapon and also to move Bond from one screen to another by
placing the cursor at the far right of the screen. Fast reactions
and thinking are needed to decide when to stop running and turn and
fire – it will take some practice to survive even the first level
with enough strength to complete the second! Add to this the fact
that the joystick also selects weapons and allows Bond to duck, jump
and roll and you have a game that will keep you going for hours
trying to master each level.
The screen is split into three areas, each of
which scrolls independently. The foreground scrolls fastest and is
only there for effect whilst the mid-ground is where Bond runs along
and has to avoid rocks and potholes etc. All adversaries are to be
found in the background where they will pop up randomly to throw
anything at Bond from bottles and knives to bullets! Oh, and you'll
probably come across the odd helicopter dropping bombs as you
progress! The screen design is good, scrolling as smooth as you have
come to expect from the Atari and the sound effects match the
action. There's even a pretty good tune to start the whole thing up.
So what of the other levels? Level 2 finds you in
the Lenin People's Music Conservatory from where you have to get the
Russian defector Koskov out to safety whilst avoiding snipers. Level
3 is The Pipeline where you must sneak past the pipe workers with
Koskov. Guards and falling pipes cause trouble here. Level 4 is set
inside The Mansion House. Koskov has been rescued but they want him
back! A crack killer has been sent in and you'll need your wits
about you. Can you trust the milkman?
Level 5 is The Fairground where you have to meet
another agent but whilst you managed to escape the killer Necros in
the previous level he is not dead and still has orders to kill!. By
now Koskov is missing and you find yourself in Tangiers where you
must battle for your life on the rooftops. Coming near the end now,
if you can get this far!
Level 7 is in The Military Complex in Afghanistan
on a Russian Air Base (gets about does Bond). The Russians don't
even like journalists in Afghanistan let alone secret agents so you
had better watch out! Finally your objective – Whitaker's House –
where you meet the mastermind behind it all, Brad Whitaker. Have you
got what it takes to get past all his defences to finally win the
game, roll the credits and go home to bed?
Some feat if you complete all of that. One added
complication is that between each level you have a choice of just
one weapon in addition to your pistol and if you choose the wrong
one the chances of surviving the level are remote. Some weird and
wonderful things are on offer from a bazooka to a ghetto blaster!
Although basically a shoot 'ern up game, you do have to think as
well and a read of the (very brief) instructions on the packaging
will give you some clues.
Enough words. This time we have lots of pies so
take a look and judge for yourself how good it looks. If you are
worried about a 'conversion' to the Atari let me just mention that
each version has been programmed individually and the Atari version
was done by a company called De Re Software. Those who have been
with Atari some time will realise that this means the people
involved know their Atari.
I am not going to tell you how far I got but I
will let you into the secret of exactly how to get to Level 8. Come
closer. Aaarghh!! Looks like Timothy Dalton has still got the part!