Chase H.Q.


by John O'Brien, Bill Harbison, Jonathan Dunn
Ocean Software Ltd
1989
Sinclair User Issue 94, January 1990   page(s) 104,105

"Let's go, Mr Driver!" It has to be said, that it ever there was a moaning, spazzy character in any game, your Chase H.Q. co-driver wins the prize. He's full of useless exclamations like "Bear down!" and "Harder harder!" What with him spoiling his trousers every time you hit the turbo button and Nancy a headquarters moaning and suggesting that you've picked the wrong job, no wonder they say a policeman's lot is not a happy one.

It's good news, then, to discover that you've got one of the best driving games full of action, drama and astounding speed to keep your mind off the downside of the job.

Chase H.Q. was an arcade favourite last year, and its transition to the Spectrum was predicted by some as utterly impossible. However, bearing in mind the capabilities of the machines concerned, I reckon that the Speccy version if by far the best, beating Atari ST and Amiga hands down on both graphics and gameplay.

The aim of the game is to track down deadly criminals who are racing from one side of America to the other in an attempt to flee the scenes of their odious crimes. Behind the Wheel of a Porsche 928, you hurtle down the highway in hot pursuit of the bad guys up ahead. Once you manage to find them (often with a little help from a following helicopter) you have to barge into them repeatedly and run them off the road. Its always good to have a big chopper helping you from behind. Ooer.

Once off the road, you can then proceed to nick the driver. Nancy at headquarters will then tell you who's next for the rubber hose treatment in the back room, and what sort of car they're driving for easy identification.

As you belt around the countryside, infuriatingly dithery innocents drift around the track, sorry, road, getting in the way. Bloody civilians. Thankfully, there's absolutely no penalty for crashing into these drivers, except it slows you down a bit. Just like the real thing.

While the chase is in progress, it's easy to pay scant attention to the fantastic surroundings. It's really only when someone else is playing, or you're watching the demo that you notice the astounding undulating hills, the ultra-smooth scrolling and the excellent speech (128K only).

When you look at Chase moving as quickly as it does, choc-a-black full of gameplay tuned to the finest degree, all the graphics with their excellent animations, other action driving games seem to look pretty silly.

All the allowances you've been making for the other car games, things like "Well, there are a lot of objects, so it's bound to be a bit slow", or "It doesn't really matter what it looks like so long at the gameplay is there" seem a little bit daft.

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. If you're not bowled over by Chase, you're off your rocker.

Label: Ocean
Author: In house
Price: £8.95
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Jack Daniel


Graphics: 93%
Sound: 80%
Playability: 98%
Lastability: 97%
Overall: 96%

Summary: Absolutely incredible. The best driving game ever. Superb.

Award: Sinclair User Classic

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 117, November 1991   page(s) 49

Vroom, vroom! Following in the footsteps of Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy, Danny Glover and Mel Gibs - the Chase HQ boys, Mr. Driver and Mr. Pain in the Butt are the inheritors of that finest of cop traditions, the "buddy" scenario.

Two of the computer world's finest boys in blue battle it out against fast ridin' Ferrari drivin' baddies in what was a major coin-op hit a few years ago. Successfully making the transition in 1989 to Spectrum and astounding the machine's critics with unbeatable graphics, sound and scrolling.

Accurately recreating the fast and furious action seen in the coin-op, you play the part of a very lucky cop who just happens to have a Porche 928 as a chase car. Unfortunately his partner seems to have a bad dose of piles as he constantly whines about your driving. Receive orders from Nancy at Chase HQ then intercept the criminals and ram them off the road. Gameplay is in theory quite simple but a lot of driving skills have to be employed. If you're into driving and you still haven't got a copy of this, go get it. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Label: Hit Squad
Memory: 48K/128K
Price: £3.99 Tape
Reviewer: Steve Keen


GARTH: Well, it's a bit iffy this one, but what can I say? When I first reviewed it, I wasn't so keen on the perspective but in retrospect, it's one of the best racing games around and an excellent budget purchase and well worth having in your collection of Speccy greats.

Graphics: 93%
Sound: 80%
Playability: 89%
Lastability: 90%
Overall: 90%

Summary: It's a while since I last played Chase HQ but took to it like a Fisch to cider (Ouch, get away you sad, hairy Scotsman). Amazing graphics, gameplay and superb scrolling make Chase HQ a 'Best Budget.'

Award: Sinclair User Best Budget

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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