Buggy Boy

Publisher: Elite
Machine: Amiga 500

Published in Zzap #42

Buggy Boy

Tatsumi's most famous racing game, Buggy Boy, has now reached the Amiga in the wake of Elite's acclaimed Commodore 64 conversion. In the standard tradition of the genre, stages have to be completed within the allotted time limit, whilst avoiding obstacles which lie in the path of your Baja Bug.

At the beginning of the game, one of the five available courses is chosen - Offroad, North, South, East and West. Each of these is split into five stages, and it is these which have to be completed in a set amount of time.

With course selection made, you are presented with a view of the track from behind and slightly above the buggy. In the upper left of the screen, a map shows the path of the selected course, with circular stage markers spread along its distance. As progress along the track is made, this map changes colour to mark your current position, and stage marker flags in the upper right of the screen are highlighted as they are completed. Other displays show time remaining, speed in kilometres per hour, score and lo/hi gear selection.

Buggy Boy

Standard steering and acceleration/deceleration joystick conventions are used, and gear is toggled using the fire button. As the buggy follows the twisting course, obstaclues such as walls, rocs, water, trees and lamp posts must be avoided at all costs, or a sore head and a red bottom could be your lot. Collision with any of the hazards stalls the buggy to a crawl, and precious time is lost as speed is regained.

However, not all the objects scattered along the race tracks are to the detriment of the Baja Bug. Running over a log causes it to jump into the air, avoiding any speed-stealing hazards below. Hitting a stone or tree stump sets the buggy running along on two wheels, which allows the vehicle to get through otherwise impassable gaps.

Points are awarded for collecting the flags and steering through the point gates which lie along the way, and total point and time bonuses are awarded on completion of each stage. Time remaining is carried over into the next stage, and additional time is also given for any bonus gates passed through during the stage.

Buggy Boy

As courses are negotiated, stages become more difficult, with more nasty obstacles to test the buggy driver's skill. Luckily, a football which appears occasionally can be hit to give bonus points and light relief to the harried speed king!


In these days of Out Run et al, Buggy Boy would seem to be too outdated for today's 16-bit owners - nothing could be further from the truth! Short of the varied scenery and variety of vehicles, Buggy Boy is every bit as fun as the race games of today.

The conversion's accuracy to the coin-op is amazing, and is every bit as addictive as it was when it hit the arcades. The perspective is very effective, particularly the tunnel and bank sequences, and sharp joystick response gives you a great feeling of control.

Buggy Boy

Buggy Boy is a fast-paced game that will have you wrenching the joystick from side to side to avoid walls and fences and to collect flags. The bouncing, dodging, collecting, game of Buggy Boy will be a big hit with all types of arcade game fans - buy it!


Elite's fine C64 conversion of Buggy Boy has received an equally good treatment on the Amiga. This incarnation fully exploits the power of the machine to produce arguably the best driving game on any home computer.

The graphics and sound fully captivate the atmosphere of the coin-op original, the buggy itself is very well defined - looking like something you'd expect to see in a cartoon - and the shifting vanishing-point of the road makes the speedy 3D effect thoroughly convincing.

Buggy Boy

Surprisingly, using a joystick to steer the buggy doesn't feel unwieldy, in fact the control is extremely comfortable and you don't miss having a steering wheel to whip around at all.

The presentation is very arcade-like and reminds me of the games Atari were releasing a couple of years ago, mainly due to the bright colours and Atari-esque music. If you've got an Amiga, buy this now. If you haven't got an Amiga, think about getting one just to play Buggy Boy!


I must say I think the C64 version is the best racing game around, so I was holding my breath (don't try this at home, kids!) in anticipation of the Amiga conversion. I am *not* disappointed!

Amiga Buggy Boy retains all of the 8-bit's playability and, if anything, gains a lot due to its fantastic authenticity to the arcade original. The only graphical differences to Tatsumi's coin-op are the small reduction in buggy size and a marginally slower screen update.

These differences, already minor, aren't noticed when involved in the totally absorbing races, and - short of a steering wheel, gear stick and accelerator pedal - it's just like playing the arcade game, as sound, too, is faithful to the original. I was actually swaying in my seat when trying to coax the buggy around curves - it's that good!

£25 isn't really an amount of money to spend lightly, but you can buy Buggy Boy safe in the knowledge of dosh well spent.


Presentation 87%
A well presented set of high score tables (one for each course) and clear screen layout.

Graphics 90%
Very similar to the coin-op clear, well defined objects and effective race track perspective.

Sound 73%
Jingles and a few appropriate sound effects, all of which are nearly identical to the original.

Hookability 97%
The familiar gameplay is very easy to get into, especially as the conversion is so accurate.

Lastability 91%
Addiction soon sets in, and five courses of five stages is enough to keep you playing late into the night.

Overall 92%
A very accurate conversion with highly addictive qualities. A must for fans of the racing genre.