Clever Mr Bond, but not quite clever enough.
Passport to Death: £8.99 cass, £14.99 disk
Author: Byron Nilsson, graphics by Peter Tattersall, music by Mark Cookson
After two distinctly substandard Bond games A View To A Kill - 76%, Issue 18 - and The Living Daylights - 63%, Issue 43) Domark has turned to Elite for this one. Apparently Elite were working on a speedboat game the film features a massive speedboat chase - and in an unprecedented link-up Domark arranged for the Aquablast program to be converted for their licence.
The 1973 film's plot concerns a voodoo island where the evil Dr Kanaga is producing heroin and shipping it to the USA. Since the Dr's drug-processing factories need a large water supply they've been built on a waterway. The game begins with Bond trying to infiltrate them by piloting his Q-customised speedboat down the river. Opposing him are enemy boats, mines and floating logs. To prepare for a variety of these seaborne missions you can also select a training option - set in the Sahara desert!
Bond's speedboat consumes a lot of fuel, and if it runs out the game's over. Luckily, friendly' helicopters pass overhead from time to time, dropping barrels of fuel which replenish your tanks. Hazards can either be shot with machine guns, missiles (essential for some objects), avoided or jumped over by ramming into a log, Buggy Boy-style. Indeed, Live And Let Die resembles a cross between Roadblasters and Buggy Boy, but with the novelty of being set on water. Unfortunately it's just that bit too slow to be genuinely eyebrow-raising. The best 007 game so far, though, and fairly addictive.
Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: effective, although fairly slow 3-D scrolling waterway
Sound: irritating tune on the front end, plus a few aquatic effects during play
Options: definable keys. Choose between different locations
Surprisingly, Live And Let Die is a really addictive speedboat chase game and has some lastability if you are prepared to persist with it. Presentation is good, with colour used well throughout the game. Actual graphics are very similar to Elite's Buggy Boy, and in fact some of the levels resemble 'stages of the arcade game left out of the Spectrum conversion. It's fun to play - until you get irritated by the toughness.
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