RUN the Gauntlet is a game played on an international scale with four teams from Britain, Holland, Australasia and the USA, all racing against one another in every type of mortised vehicle known to mankind. The action starts by allowing you and a friend to choose one of the four countries to represent. The game will then select, apparently at random, a set of three special events for you to compete in. These are mostly three-lap races around a four-way scrolling landscape.
In the corner of the screen a small map is supplied to confuse and annoy you - it rather cunningly bears little or no resemblance to the actual playing area. The computer controls the two other competitors in the race. You cannot play directly against your friend, and all events are scored by the time you took to finish. During the race the other computer players, whether boats, hovercrafts or cars, simply refuse to let you pass. If you should bump into them, you will automatically go into a time-wasting spin. The computer-controlled boat will carry on as if nothing has happened. Exactly the same thing occurs if they crash into you, which is not what you would really go so far as to call fair. To make things even worse, some psycho is shooting at you.
Trying to steer your player around the screen is so difficult as to make play impossible. Just when you think you have got the hang of it, some prat will shoot you and stop you taking first place. Why? I don't know. I am sure I would have remembered it if it had been in the TV show. If you win, or least not come last, you will take part in the next event. If you are really unlucky you will win all three and take part in another series.
Graphically Run the Gauntlet is quite good. With digitised static displays plus passable landscapes and sprites, good use has been made of the Amiga hardware. Your little boat will even leave a shimmering wake as it vainly attempts to take part in the race.
However, the music must be the worst I have heard. A tedious little sampled ditty plays over and over and over again. Even the point when the tune starts and stops has not been blended together, so it sounds exactly like a record playing with a stuck stylus.
The only saving grace is 10 seconds of Martin Shaw sampled from the TV saying what a fun time you are going to have. Martin Shaw, if you remember, was the one with the curly hair from The Professionals, a TV series banned because of excessive violence. His idea of fun is, therefore, to be treated with suspicion.
Run the Gauntlet must rate as the least enjoyable game I have ever had the misfortune to play. How Ocean managed to fill not one, but two discs with such tedium is a miracle of modern 16 bit technology.