Title Speed Buggy (Buggy Boy in the UK) (Second Review) Game Type Driving Publisher Taito/Elite Players 1 Compatibility All Amigas HD Installable Available (not Buggy Boy) Submission Angus Manwaring Profiled Reviewer Review Speed Buggy, or Buggy Boy as it is known in these parts, is quite a significant game as far as I am concerned, because it was the first racing game I saw on the Amiga which actually gave a reasonable sensation of speed. I think Space Harrier may have come out earlier and offered a similarly impressive effect, but it wasn't a racing game, although it was also a coin-op conversion produced by Elite, and the two Amiga games may even have shared some code. Anyway, I tried Buggy Boy out, and while I wasn't hugely impressed by it, at the time, I was glad to see that somebody had bundled some impressive coding routines together with some good, honest gameplay, and had in so doing, effectively moved the boundaries of the Amiga hardware forward. It was, remember, back in mid '88, when the A500 had barely been out for a year, and many releases still carried their 8-bit ancestry draped over themselves like unfashionable anoraks. So, how is the game actually presented? Buggy boy is a third person perspective racing game, using sprites like Super Hang On, rather than Stunt Car Racer's polygon approach. As I've indicated above, the scenery dashes past you as you race along, avoiding (or trying to avoid) boulders, trees, cacti, and the like which cause your buggy to tumble or just slow you down. As in Outrun, you must pass checkpoints within a certain time or the race is over. Of the five tracks, four are a series of checkpoints with a start and a finish, while one (Off Road) is a circuit where you can complete lap after lap. The tracks have many different coloured flags that you can drive through for point bonuses, or extra time. There are also smaller flags that start to flash under certain conditions, presumably giving you extra bonus points. There are some additional touches like tunnels and bridges as well as angled walls which you can drive up, like a banked corner. Logs provide a means of jumping over subsequent obstacles, and footballs appear as yet another bonus feature. While there's nothing particuarly impressive about Buggy Boy when compared to later offerings of this genre it still manages to provide a highly enjoyable arcade racing experience. Although sometimes a little frustrating, especially regarding the bridges you use to cross rivers, the handling is very good, and the sheer speed of movement provides plenty of fun and thrills. The colours are bright and cheerful, which with the classic Japanese coin-op style musical jingles, perfectly create the atmosphere of playing the game, fresh from Taito, in those smoky arcades all those years ago. I was also impressed to note that the floppy worked with my AGA 060 Amiga with no tweaking at all. Although there is a WHDLoad/JST patch for the American version of the game (Speed Buggy) it doesn't seem to work with the UK version of Buggy Boy. Still, with no compatibility problems and the fact that the game fully loads without the need for further disk accessing, who can complain.