Television is one of those laundred industries where only the pure can venture to the silver screen. One whiff of scandal, a breath of drugs or porn rackets and wham, you have had it. Just look at Frank Bough. Running Man changes all of that by offering criminals an opportunity at superstardom; albeit the pathway can lead towards their maker.
Based religiously around the film, the game sees hardened criminals brought onto TV to engage in a battle to the death against the Stalkers all for the viewers' benefit in this modern-day version of Spartacus. Ben Richards is a policeman unjustly convicted of murder who now has to compete on the Running Man show where his death is all the viewers want.
The game is similar to watching Tommy Cooper's stage performance with Richards coming up against death and pausing every now and again for a commercial break. Enemies range from a gang of brain-dead Stalkers in level one to a remarkably resilient opera singer with a fetish for electrocution. Even Buzzsaw, a freak passionately into leather, appears astride his motorbike just to invoke a moment of terror.
Between levels there is a challenge code element where you shuffle a set of icons around one side of the screen to make up the code on the other. If you succeed, you can shut down the cameras tracing you. With only a minute to spare it is no easy task.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
The five backdrops for each level re colourful enough, but they are severely lacking in detail when you consider the capabilities of an Amiga. Only a small width of the screen is utilised so it is not always easy to see who is attacking you or the methods used. The action does not move particularly when scrolling is utilised, so Richard's movements won't exactly blow your mind - more like lull it to sleep.
A variety of inhuman foot kicks make Running Man a street-fighting game in a different league to the rest. It is astonishingly close to the film which makes a change from the majority of film orientated releases. Code cracking between levels adds an unusual strategy element to the game, however, graphics and speed could have been improved to give it a far more addictive feel. An opening sequence of brilliant sampled music and digitised pictures just is not enough to sustain your interest when you get into the game. Additionally, since the game is only five levels long, the whole thing can get ridiculously hard ridiculously quickly.