Slick as the man himself

Live And Let Die logo Amiga Computing Excellence Award

IN ordinary circumstances - if you have an extremely fast powerboat with a front-mounted 20mm cannon and surface-to-surface missile launcher, what you say is automatically fine by everyone else. So how come James Bond 007 - secret agent, good egg and only convincingly played by Sean Connery - has got problems?
People are actually strafing this guy from Cessnas without even a by-your-leave. Tsch, the international criminals today, no respect for tradition.

Dr Kananga - politician, villain and bad egg numero uno - has decided that large amounts of free heroin would do large amounts of good for his voodoo-ridden island of San Monique and inordinately huge amounts of bad to the ole US of A.

By growing opium poppies under camouflage netting, the bad doctor plans to export the resin to his hidden processing plants. These are slightly inaccessible, being at the North Pole, the Sahara Desert and the Florida swamplands.

All are open to attack only via some kind of boat, so it's here that the powerboat-cum-warship comes in handy. Quite how much navigable passage there is in the Sahara I'm not exactly sure, but there can't be much. Mr Pedant strikes back.

There are the three full-scale missions, plus one target and steering practice run. Each has a separate high score table, so the easier runs aren't a passport to high score domination.

The waterways aren't your Norfolk Broads, they are littered with logs, lethal rocks, and nasty mines which go pop (times several thousand) at inopportune moments.

The boat is fairly tough, so logs only cause it to leap wildly. This has a use - apart from giving you a legitimate reason for shouting Acieed! - in that the nasty Cessnas can be shot out of the sky. Things get nasty when you meet tunnels or embankments which must be aimed through or slid round. Some of these tunnels have locked doors in them, but they don't after you loose a missile at them.

As the only way of ending the game is running out of motion-lotion, someone helpfully leaves fuel barrels kicking about. The nasty boats drop explosive barrels, which make a slight dent in the old paintwork. All can be overtaken, as long as they don't ram you first.

Everything moves very quickly, so a sharp eye and nimble fingers are needed. Only when you've hammered through enough hell-and-high-water do you get a crack at Dr Kananga's dope emporium.

The chances of actually getting that far are pretty slim, far slimmer than the ubiquitous Bond girl who is probably draped by the side of the able agent. But the courses aren't random, so you'll learn what to avoid - eventually.

The display is a neatly centred 200 line affair, with some of the fastest racing perspective this side of the dedicated 3D chippery in arcade machines. The tune is very pleasant - it doesn't play during the game - but some of the sound effects occasionally come out wrongly.

Granted, the gameplay may have all the depth of Spy Hunter, but the sheer speed and beauty of it is something else.
Buy this and once you realise what to do you'll be the owner of one of the slickest, fastest, prettiest, although not tremendously educational, pure Amiga arcade masterpieces around.

Live And Let Die logo

Domark, Amiga £19.99

Have you ever noticed that James Bond only spends about five minutes in his fancy vehicles until he's captured? Well, in the game of Live and Let Die you play the part of 007 and you have to spend a bit more time in your speedboat than in the films!

The first thing to conquer is the target practice stage, which involves hitting a set number of targets whilst dodging rocks in the river. Next come the training missions, set in the Sahara (a river across the Sahara?) and the North Pole.

After that, you can move on to the big mission. This involves traversing the Everglades using your new skills. Can you reach the hideout of Dr. Kanaga and put a stop to his nasty drug dealing?
No, don't tell me. I don't really care.

Gordon Houghton This is really a lot like Buggy Boy, right down to the bouncing over logs and climbing up the banked walls. Not that that's a bad thing as Buggy Boy is a really good game, but this license seem to lack that certain something to make it special. The controls just aren't fluent enough to allow you to get stuck in and there isn't enough going on. I think I'll stick to dry land.
Maff Evans There seems to be a lot of 3D drive and shoot games around at the moment, but instead of leaning towards the Roadblasters type, Live and Let Die is more like that game with the beach buggy (you know the one). It's quite playable for a while, with some nice 3D and use of colour, but it soon becomes apparent that there isn't much to keep you occupied for more than a few goes. Not the worst 3D game ever, but then again it's nowhere near the best.