Chase HQ

This is how you do a proper arcade conversion. After the disaster that was Out Run I wasn’t expecting this one to hit the mark but it did and it was brilliant. Musically its not a masterpiece but it was one of the rare games that made good use of the 3-channel AY soundchip and the beeper to produce a very interesting composition.

The Game

The heat is on! The steaming roads beckon your turbo-charged Porsche 928 as the screeching tyres in the distance heralds another crime being committed.

“This is Nancy at Chase HQ” – we gotta few perps to catch, Algernon, Looks like you ain’t gonna get much sleep tonight” “Gotcha, Nancy baby! We’re on our way!”

Details of the perpetrators vehicles flash across your in-car computer screen as you tear away down the busy L.A. streets in search of your quarry.

You are the head of SCI (Special Criminal Investigation) and the type of guys you chase don’t stop for no-one! After years of experience, you have discovered that the only way of stopping these people is to ram ’em off the road!

Your limited Turbo Chargers help you catch up, but these guys seem to drive the best (and fastest) sports cars on the road, so catchin’ em ain’t easy.

Critical Reaction

It’s fair to say that every single magazine was impressed with the Spectrum version;

  • Crash – 95 % and a Crash Smash,

The actual roadside features of this conversion could’ve been more detailed and do jerk somewhat as they’re approached, but the road itself is plotted in perfect perspective and moves smoothly and quickly. This is an accurate conversion that is as playable as the real thing – and that sure is a big recommendation!

  • Your Sinclair – 94% and a YS Megagame,

I suppose the first question you always ask in a racing game is “Does it give a good impression of speed?”, and the answer here is an emphatic “Yes, it does”. The rolling road is very fast and smooth, the cars are all nicely drawn and animated, and there are clever programming tricks all over the place.

  • Sinclair User – 96% and an SU Classic.

When you see and play Chase, you realise that there simply aren’t any excuses. It is possible to do everything without compromise. Finally, a driving game without any flaws. Nail-biting, tyre squealing action right to the very end.

My Thoughts

This is one game where I get to stick two fingers up at everyone who ever slagged off the ZX Spectrum. We have the best home computer conversion. Better than the C64, the Amiga, the ST. A stunningly good conversion. Sure the Speccy gets stuck with the monochromatic graphics but that doesn’t matter.

Smooth scrolling and fast, slick gameplay made this a real winner and one of the best ever arcade conversions. All the important stuff from the arcade game is present and correct. The road undulates  and your car jumps over these when your travelling at speed. There is a simple but effective in game tune with excellent sound effects and some great little touches.

So let’s forget about the smooth scrolling and the fast gameplay, what is most impressive is all the little touches that made the game great. Many of these were missing from the other versions from the arm reaching out of the car and placing the light on top of it to the the helicopter, the change of tone in the engine when you enter a tunnel and of course the speech. Not every version had all of these little touches, some had more than others and it was very surprising that the humble ZX Spectrum did have them all.

All in all a great game, well worth purchasing and still good fun.

The Music

I have to say I couldn’t resist adding one of the Speech samples before the music! Enjoy!!


About Phendrena

Father, Retro Gamer, PC Gamer.

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