C64 Review of Buggy Boy from Issue 32

ZzapTest Logo by Biggest Jim


Buggy Boy is Eliteís officially licensed conversion of Tatsumiís off-road arcade race game.

In keeping with other games of this genre, the player simply has to race between two points on a circuit within a set time, avoiding hazards along the way.

At the start, one of five courses is chosen: Offroad, North, South, East or West. Each course is split into five different sections which are raced against the clock. When the selection has been made, the race begins.

The playerís view of the proceedings follows the convention of being from behind and above, with the buggy displayed in the centre of the screen. The two-speed car follows the twisting course, and steers left and right to avoid hazards, including trees, boards, rocks, water, lamposts and walls. Hitting any of these stalls the vehicle, and precious time is wasted as itís restarted.

In addition to the normal driving mode, the car also jumps when it hits logs, and runs along on two wheels when it touches stones or tree stumps. These extra abilities come in useful when avoiding hazards. As well as dodging the dangerous obstacles at break neck speed, the player also runs over bonus flags for extra points, and steers through bonus point and time gates.

On completion of a stage, extra time is added to the total, and the player continues on the next section of the course. Any time bonuses collected plus the time remaining from the previous stage are added to that allowed for completion of the latter.

Later levels become increasingly harder, with more hazards to avoid, and banked bends, tunnels and bridges to test the playerís driving abilities. A football is also occasionally encountered, and is driven into for extra points.

This review was typed in/OCRed by Iain

ZzapBack Logo by Biggest Jim
In the spirit of ZzapBack, you can have your say about how the game reviewed above, stands up in the cold light of today. Has it aged badly or is it still worth a few plays? Read other peoples thoughts and post your own.

The current ZzapBack rating is : 95%

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Anonymous - 11 Jan 2018
Sheer Awesomeness. One of the best racers ever.

Rating : 100%
Conrad - 9 Jul 2015
...even with PS4 and all other great consoles this will always have that charm which only the C64 could "birth".

Rating : 100%
Conrad - 2 Apr 2011
Another classic. I still play this game on my emulator (I also own the original disc version)and it still has bucket loads of playability. Graphics are very colourful and the speed is awesome for this type of game.
Some tracks might be easy but there is one which is a killer if you do not memorise the save driving lines. It was more than a conversion it was a vast improvement from the coin up. It shows that graphics cannot beat playability. The coin up version on MAME sucks compared to this. Still worth a gold medal in my book.

Rating : 100%
John Robson - 5 Nov 2009
Very playable

Rating : 90%
Rags - 11 Dec 2008
Soem games are great, and can't be bettered on any format. This is one of them, perfectly designed for the c64. I'd enjoy it as much today as I did over 20 years ago.

Rating : 98%
Emperor Roscoe - 8 Oct 2008
A perfect example of expediency by a programmer. Instead of trying vainly to recreate the giant buggy of the original and making a mess of things, they went for something that merely resembled the coin-op, but played like a dream. I remember playing the ST and C64 versions back to back and while the ST had you wide eyed on the graphics front, it was the C64 game that stuck in my mind. A charming little game worth spending a few hours on.

Rating : 92%
CraigGrannell - 5 May 2005
In some ways, Buggy Boy reminds me of Spy Hunter, in the sense that the C64 version isn't a particularly good conversion, but it is a fine, playable game. The driving experience is far from accurate (centre the stick and the buggy drives around corners on its own), but it's nonetheless an excellent arcade game and a strong challenge. I never thought much of the graphics, and that rating should drop by 20 per cent or so, and the sound is pretty nasty and grating, and wouldn't hit more than 50 per cent from me. However, the overall rating is pretty much spot-on. If I were reviewing for Zzap!64 today, I'd be urging everyone to let this game scrape a Gold Medal, purely on the basis of its top-notch gameplay.

Rating : 96%
SLF - 4 May 2005
This is lovely. As a conversion it's not that accurate, but I personally think it's prettier and more fun than the actual coin-op.

It's an unusual racing game with a strong focus on getting all the bonuses while slaloming around the obstacles, rather than concentrating on cornering like it's usual on games of this format.

The result is exhilarating fun, and while it's pretty easy to complete all the tracks if you don't go for the bonuses, massive room for improving your score keeps you glued for a long time.

As a tournament game, it comes into its own, with each go taking just a short time and a great challenge in beating each other's performances.

Graphics are cute and adept, the sound effects joyful enough.

There are a bit too many bugs, though, but that's a minor gripe.

All in all, a great game.

Pr 92 Gr 80 So 65 Ho 96 La 93

Rating : 94%
alessio - 4 May 2005
A blast from the past! buggy boy happens to be a game i first played in primary school with mates pushing and shoving to get a look in!. the only thing i can complain about is the fact that it is a little on the easy side. Fantastic game if you can find this one get it!

Rating : 90%
Iain - 4 May 2005
Wot a great game!

While it's nothing to write home about in the graphics department, it's a fast paced game with lots of obstacles to avoid and flags and gates to pass through.

Every play, you just want to get a little bit further, to get to the next stage without hitting those damn rocks etc. There nothing worse than hitting a log and flying through the air, only to notice that you're about to land before a rock and there won't be enough time to avoid it when you land!

I'd down graphics to 86% but leave the rest the same! It's a racing game with a difference.

Rating : 97%
Julian Rignall
Who says the racing genre dead? Buggy Boy proves that the racing format is very much alive and kicking. Itís rare that a computer game manages to give a real feeling of thrill and exhileration, but Buggy Boy manages it! The graphics are absolutely superb ó Iíve never seen such a smooth and realistic 3D effect, and the Ďfeelí of the control method is tremendous. The buggy responds in exactly the way you wish, and that makes for some really involving and exciting racing. There are five different tracks to race, varying from the relatively easy Offroad, to the mean East. Each one has its own distinct character and requires a different approach to complete it. On Off road you can burn along and go for bonus flags, but the hazard filled South track requires some dextral driving. What I like most of all is that Buggy Boy remains totally addictive even when the courses have been completed. Itís not only the feeling that you can better your top score, but thereís something in the gameplay that makes it enjoyable to play time and time again. Brilliant stuff Elite, how, about a Buggy Boy II?
Steve Jarratt
There are two things that set Buggy Boy apart from other games of this type: the use of graphics and the control method. Others may look better but none are so effective (Super Cycle included), and no other game feels so good. The buggy is very responsive and goes exactly where ypu want it to, creating a perfect feeling of involvement: you get totally wrapped up in the proceedings. The speed of the action is a high contributing factor and the variety between levels really makes it a lasting proposition. There are racing games and racing games ó but thereís only one Buggy Boy!
Paul Sumner
The worst thing about this month was Buggy Boy I had to stop playing it to write some reviews! If you think Iím joking, just try stopping once youíve started. The designers have built the courses so cunningly, that hitting one too many obstacles means you coast to a stop a few agonizing inches from the finish line ó and you have to try again just to see if you can get those extra seconds. On top of that, there are quick, clear graphics that are very reminiscent of the original, atmospheric sound effects, and masses of tracks ó five courses, each with five stages should keep the best player going for days. Buggy Boy is a winner all the way. Buy it!
Includes a selection of courses and the overall look is slick.

The somewhat chunky graphics are completely offset by the speed at which they move: ultimately very effective.

Not the best ever, with little in the way of music, but enough spot effects to add a suitable atmosphere.

Pick up the joystick at your peril ó and make sure youíve got the next day free.

Very hard to beat the toughest course, but great fun while youíre trying.

A cracking racing game that proves totally compulsive.