1985. A great year for arcade gaming.
None so fierce was Buggy Boy. A racing game with a distinct difference. Tatsumi brought into play a unique venture in which the vehicle in question was an off-road dune buggy, a buggy with superb stunt capabilities which come into play as this article progresses.
With the standard setup, steering wheel, gas pedal, brake and gear, the action is set upon many courses with a very playable learning curve, offering the beginner plenty of scope for progress.
Choosing the level of play is a simple process and is achieved by steering the cursor to the desired setting.
Waiting for those all important lights to turn green, the tension mounts as soon the race begins offering a myriad of obstacles such as rocks, flooded patches of road and gates to drive through, which if done so in succession a bonus multiplier kicks in to give rise to the mounting score.
here come the differences… Ready?
Slopes upon the side of the course can offer sweet comfort as the car is able to climb the gradients to avoid the many perils and competing cars in the race to collect more bonuses and gain the advantage. Did we mention the jumps? No? We better had.
Along the bumpy tracks are logs and stones which if navigated well can launch your buggy into the air or flip it onto two wheels, which adds to the thrill of the race as the timer ebbs away leaving a sense of pressure as the race continues through a plethora of scenarios as the competing cars pass and the trees in the peripheral fade into the rear mirror. Just keep goin’….. Keep goin’. That next checkpoint is just around that next corner.
As with any arcade classic there were many console or home computer versions appearing on the market, non were as close to the original as the Commodore Amiga version. In fact, after playing both personally, the only difference found was the bouncing of the suspension as the vehicle drove along the twists and turns of the exact same course layouts on offer. Comparing the two conversions side by side in split screen footage, the courses are identical to the last. Which indeed makes the Amiga version the closest comparison with its sound and graphics chip, so if access to the arcade version isn’t possible and you still have one of these wonderful machines, go for that… In our opinion of course.
With other racing titles on offer, normally in the guise of track racers, be it Grand Prix or Nascar, this classic remains synonymous in its originality and excellent gameplay and one which must be visited again, making it one of those golden moments in arcade gaming memory.
Review by Rob Joy.