Most of these compilations tend to have some kind of a 'common theme'. So how about this one? Presumably Domark would have us believe that all five games are 'dynamite' or 'explosive' or something, but I have my doubts. Perhaps it's 'having an apostrophe at the end' (which would account for two of them) or 'being slightly crap' (ahem). No, in fact the connection is that all five are Tengen coin-op conversions. Exciting, huh? I don't think so.
It is hard drivin' actually. What we've got here is a conversion of one of the most awesome arcade games ever (in the world). It's a solid 3D 'driving simulator' where you get to drive some sports car around one of two tracks extremely quickly.
So is it any good? Well... erm... David thought so back in the March issue, but I'm not so convinced. The graphics tend to disintegrate a bit (although this doesn't affect the gameplay too much) and it's blimming hard to control the car. And it does get a bit boring. All the same. Hard Drivin' is very 'sought-after', a huge technical achievement and a game well worth having. Rating: 81%
"Join Biff and Jet, the tube-dudes, as they cruise the baddest rivers in and out of this world... the coolest game on the streets today." Fat chance. More like a Codies Advanced Inner Tube Simulator if you ask me. You've got to paddle part of a tyre down a river and get to the end as quickly as possible. There are lots of obstacles to collect and or avoid and baddies who fire at you from the banks and need to be clobbered with tins of spaghetti. Nope, this is pretty rough stuff - in fact, its only consolation is that it tends to get lost amongst the rest of the compilation. Next! Rating: 59%
Right, this time round you're a cop (called Bob) who's got to cruise the streets in his patrol car picking up felons. You've got a certain quota to fulfil each day, and your chances are increased when you get an APB (which stands for 'Aroma of Peanut Butter', I think). This means that you've got the opportunity to hunt down an especially naughty crook who'll need to be interrogated by waggling your joystick from side to side.
Graphics ? Nothing startling - monochrome, weedy but very scrolly. Sound? Annoying. Playability? Lots of it, once you've got the hang of what's going on. Worth having? As part of compilation, certainly, but it's one of the less desirable titles in the box. Rating: 70%
This is probably the best game of the bunch. You're a dragon (spook!) who flaps his way across a vertically-scrolling landscape for no obvious reason. In the course of your travels you come up against an assortment of shooting thingies, so it's just as well that you can shoot back. There are land-based baddies, such as snakes, which need to be bombed. and flying ones, like the Formation Pterodactyl Team, which are best shot down. Oh, and let's not forget those lovely add-ons.
Apart from a few minor problems, like icons whizzing oft the screen without giving you a chance to grab them and getting sent back to the start every time you die (nngh!), this is a very passable shooter. Rating: 83%
And the last one. This is the oldest of the collection, dating from last year's August issue. And it's the third-best, I reckon. It's a maze game where you (and maybe a pal) have got to dash around and shoot robots. You're a robot too actually. The screen is split down the middle. and there's a communal map at the top. Visually it's not going to break any records, but Xybots is an enjoyable enough romp with plenty of violence. Rating: 78%
Okay, out with the calculator. (Clonk.) That's five games (prod, prod) at £14.99 (prod, prod, prod) which works out at (prod) £2.998 each, which is (prod, prod, prod) 8p more than an average cheapie. On the whole this lot are better than budget games though, so, mixing in the good with the bad, we got an all-right deal. Worth a look.
Nothing alarmingly good, but a solid, dependable compilation all the same.