James Bond Retro Games
Bond: The Stealth Affair is a 1990 point and click adventure by
Delphine Software. You could probably call this an arcade adventure
because it has some arcade elements.
game is more interesting and ambitious than the mediocre glut of Bond
games from Domark. James Bond: The Stealth Affair did not actually
start life as a James Bond game. It was released in Europe as a Bond
pastiche titled Operation Stealth.
that game you played as a CIA agent named John Glames who has to locate
a top secret stealth plane in the fictional Latin American nation Santa
Paragua. The game then gained a James Bond licence for the American
release and became James Bond: The Stealth Affair. John Glames
obviously became James Bond in the United States version of the game.
The two games are nearly identical apart from this. James Bond: The
Stealth Affair explains Bond working for the CIA by saying he is on
loan to them. This is clunky but neccessary. For the American version
of this game they obviously had to come up with an explanation for why
James Bond is taking his orders from the CIA rather than MI6.
Bond: The Stealth Affair uses a mouse controlled interfaced system
which was introduced in the game Future Wars. This makes the control
system in the game easy to use. If you have played point and click
adventures you'll have a good idea of what to expect. A lot of walking
around, talking to people, and finding objects. This game is not on a
level with the classic Lucasfilm point and click adventures like The
Secret of Monkey Island and Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis but
it is competent for what is. If nothing else it is a relief to play a
retro James Bond game and not have to put up with Domark's top down car
driving for the umpteenth time.
Bond: The Stealth Affair, graphically, looks fine for 1990, and has
some nice backdrops. The story takes place in hotels, briefing rooms,
parks, streets, cavarns, jungles, and at sea. There are some nice
cliffanger scenarios where Bond is captured and plenty of humour. The
puzzles in the game are not annoyingly obtuse so even those of us who
are not brilliant at point and click aventures can get into this game
without becoming too frustrated. The music is quite disco jaunty and
not very James Bond. Bond himself wanders around in a tuxedo and is
fairly well animated. The control room backdrops near the end are great
and very Bondian. They have a 1960s sci-fi design.
actual story is not one that ever really grabs you but it isn't bad
either. James Bond: The Stealth Affair is a likeable game but not one
that ever amounts to an outrageosly memorable experience. This is one
of those games that is quite interesting to play but after you've
finished with it you forget all about it.
have to now sadly mention the arcade sequences in James Bond: The
Stealth Affair. This minigames are largely atrocious. There is one were
you are swimming underwater which is utterly forgettable. There is also
a top down Gauntlet style (which is unfair to Gauntlet because that's a
good game) maze sequence which looks hideous and isn't very interesting
to play. A jetski sequence (which looks like a C64 game from 1984) is
so dark that it is difficult to make anything out. I'm merely presuming
it is a jetski sequence. It's so dark it could be anything.
Bond: The Stealth Affair is no classic but it is the best of the 80s
and early 90s Bond games. That's a back-handed compliment I know but
I'm not knocking the game because it is likeable and passable for what
it is. We still had some years to wait though for the first truly great
James Bond game and that game would definitely not be on the Amiga.
View To A Kill was unusual in that it was the first Roger Moore Bond
film (or Bond film period) to get an official computer game in the form
of a 1985 Domark game titled (you guessed it) A View To A Kill. This
game must rank as one of the most disappointing gaming experiences on
the Commodore 64. A game based on a Bond film! This must be good right?
Wrong! A View To A Kill has three different sections which are
essentially like minigames. All of these sections are tedious.
first section in the game has you driving through Paris as Bond chasing
May Day. Sounds great right? Unfortunately this must be the worst
driving section of any game I have ever played. It's slow, graphically
awful, and Paris consists of a series of brick walls. Half the screen
in the Paris section is top down and the the top half of the screen is
first perspective. The 3D scrolls with all the speed of a limping snail!
is City Hall where you must escape as the building is on fire. You have
to get various locked doors open. This second section is as boring a
the first. It's a side-on puzzle section where your have to find
objects to progress and must also douse the fire with buckets of water.
James Bond is depicted by a blocky stick man figure. In the third
section of the game you run around Zorin's mines - basically rubbish
poor graphics and thrown together nature of this game are inexcusable
given that it is an official Bond game. The C64 was capable of smooth
and fluid animations and fast scrolling (look at games like Impossible
Mission and Super Cycle) so it is a shame that none of these qualities
were apparent in A View To A Kill's computer game. A View To A Kill is
absolutely abysmal with dreadful crude graphics and a complete lack of
magazine awarded A View To A Kill's computer game just 36%. What was
most disappointing about the game is that it was heavily hyped. As far
as the C64 went, the games to approach with some degree of caution were
the licenced games. Companies would get the rights to some popular
movie or television show and inevitably the game they knocked up with
said licence would be terrible. That cover art would always lure gamers
in though. This was clearly the case with A View To A Kill. The box
looked great but the actual game was hopeless.
their disastrous A View To A Kill game, Domark bravely ventured back
into the world of Bond games with Live and Let Die. A game based on
Live and Let Die sounds sounds great right? Well, don't get your hopes
up too much. For one thing this game didn't even begin life as a Bond
game. It was supposed to be a boat chase game called Aquablasters and a
follow-up to Buggy Boy. * Domark simply bought the game and slapped
Live and Let Die on top of it. I suppose they figured that as the film
Live and Let Die has a lengthy boat chase sequence, Aquablasters, with
a few modifications, would make a good adapatation.
Live and Let Die is very forgettable on the whole. It's just a bog
standard racing game only on water rather than a road. This is the sort
of thing you would have bought if it was a budget title and then played
for a few hours and completely forgot about. The most disappointing
thing about the game is that it only consists of boat racing and makes
no attempt to incorprate other aspects of the film. Live and Let Die is
not the worst game ever made but it is very average and a fairly lazy
sort of licenced game. By the way, the rendition of the 007 theme in
this game is absolutely dreadful!
Buggy Boy is an off road racing game based on a 1985 Japanese arcade
machine. The player drives a buggy around a track avoiding obstacles
such as brick walls, fences and rocks. There are five tracks - Offroad,
which needs to be completed five times, North, a wintry track with five
subtracks; East has five subtracks; West and five subtracks and South
has a desert landscape with five subtracks. There is a time limit to
complete the tracks. The buggy also has to drive through gates. Flags
and other bonuses can be collected. Driving through a time flag gives
extra time for the stage to be completed.
is a great conversion of the arcade game and a good racer. It is very
addictive. The difficulty level is about right with the later subtracks
being more difficult. The animation is smooth and the graphics are
fine. The controls are very responsive. There are also a variety of
tracks in the game. All in all this is a fun driving game. The game is
known as Speed Buggy in North America. Buggy Boy proved to be a hig hit
with gamers who enjoy racing games.
gameplay is excellent and this proves to be a fun experience on the
whole. The buggy performs an impressive flip when it crashes and there
are some nice touches like everything going dark when you enter a
tunnel. The course designs in the game are very good and the game moves
at a fast pace once you get going. The scrolling is fairly impressive
too for the time. One of the interesting things about Buggy Boy is that
it doesn't attempt to be a straight conversion of its arcade
counterpart but rather seeks to be an interpretation. This game was
great on the C64 but the Amiga version has better graphics while not
losing anything as far as the gameplay goes. It's just a very simple
but enjoyable game. You'd be much better off playing Buggy boy than
Live and Let Die!