Another Sunday means another episode of 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die, the (hopefully) weekly series where I play through all of the games listed in the book - 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die. If I played the game before, then I will share my memory of the experience. If I haven't played the game before, then I find an online version or an emulator and I play the game (for at least 30 minutes). This is a book every gamer should have in their library, and if you're interested in purchasing it, you can find it here.

Last week I discovered Planetfall - a quirky little text adventure from the 80s in the same vein as Zork and a few other games from this genre. I only experienced a fraction of the game, but liked it well enough to want to pursue playing it more. Perhaps one day. So many other games to play, like this week's featured game - none other than...

Spy Hunter

Spy Hunter is a 1983 arcade game developed and released by Bally Midway. It has also been ported to various home computers and video game systems. As a cabinet-style arcade game, Spy Hunter was produced in both sit-down and standard upright versions with the latter being more common. The game's controls consist of a steering wheel in the form of a futuristic aircraft-style yoke with several special-purpose buttons, a two-position stick shift (offering 'low' and 'high' gears), and a pedal used for acceleration. It is a single-player game.

Spy Hunter is a vertical scrolling action/driving game with the player in the role of a spy driving an armed sportscar. The object of the game is to travel the freeway destroying as many enemy vehicles as possible while protecting civilian vehicles. The game uses top-down perspective. The game begins with the player driving the fictitious G-6155 Interceptor.

Following periodic forks in the road, players can enter a new 'territory' with different terrain and/or weather conditions. Players can also upgrade the car's standard machine guns by adding other weapons by enterting the Weapons Van, which appears in each new territory and can be periodically summoned by pressing the blinking "Weapons Van" button. Three special weapons are available: oil slicks, smoke screens, and surface-to-air missiles. Each has limited ammo and are lost if the player's car is destroyed. The game's dashboard shows which weapons are available, when lit.

It is possible for the player to convert the car into a go-fast boat for brief periods by driving through a special boathouse which appears infrequently at the side of the road after which the player is attacked by two different enemy boats. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)

Spy Hunter.



I guess that tells you whether I've played it or not. I've actually played it on a few different platforms, but none compares to the original arcade version. I have so many fond memories of this game and I'm sure much of these were because I was always a big fan of James Bond movies and this game always made me feel a little like James Bond.

Hmm, let's see. What did I like best about Spy Hunter. Well, it had a very distinctive and catchy theme song. I also thought it was really cool how a an allied cargo truck would periodically pull up in front of you and lower a pair of ramps and you had to drive up into the back of the truck to get outfitted with some sort of new weapon system like oil slicks or a smokescreen. It was also neat to drive off the main road, crash through a boat house and have your car would transform into a boat. Bumping motorcycles out of the way was fun too, but you would lose points for doing that.

The game was brutally challenging though. Some of the cars would try and force you off the road while others would pull up next to you and shoot at you or try to slash your tires with these spinning blades that would come out of their wheels. Sometimes just driving at high speeds and keeping it on the road was a challenge.

Spy Hunter was popular enough to show up in a few other places, albeit in some unusual places. An episode of Murder She Wrote? Apparently. As an Easter Egg in Microsoft Excel 2000? Interesting but true. Check this out if you don't believe me. It even showed up in Zynga's Mafia Wars as a car named the Hunter "Spy" XS. But perhaps my favorite is this old Pontiac commercial that is simply brilliant.

I can proudly say this week's game is Spy Hunter and I have absolutely played it. It definitely deserves to be featured in 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die.

I'm not sure what game is up next week, so be sure to check back and see if it is something you've played or not. Until then, enjoy the rest of your weekend and have a great week.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend.


Previous Episodes:

Episode 1: 01 - 05 (here)

Episode 2: 06 - 10 (here)

Episode 3: 11 - 15 (here)

Episode 4: 16 - 20 (here)

Episode 5: 21 - 25 (here)

Episode 6: 26 - 30 (here)

Episode 7: 31 - 35 (here)

Episode 8: 36 - 40 (here)

Episode 41 (here)

Episode 42 (here)

Episode 43 (here)

Episode 44 (here)

Episode 45 (here)

Episode 46 (here)

Episode 47 (here)

Episode 48 (here)

Episode 49 (here)

Episode 50 (here)

Episode 51 (here)

Episode 52 (here)

Episode 53 (here)

Episode 54 (here)

Episode 55 (here)

Episode 56 (here)