Spectrum 2.0

Review of 'Out Run'

Rating:4 User: Alessandro Grussu

This conversion was the cause of a heated debate among Spectrum users, and it's not hard to understand why. The original coin-op had so many features which simply weren't able to be ported on 8-bit machines, Spectrum included. It would have been impossible to convey the same sense of speed and smoothness of movement of the original coin-op to those platforms, so the different programming teams chose to do as much as the hardware restrictions allowed them to.

That said, the Spectrum version is far from being an unsuccessful effort. The game is there to be found - no levels have been left out: the scenery and opponent cars are all there. The sheer amount of detail slows down some levels noticeably, but on almost all of them the speed is not worse than other similar games on the Spectrum.

Yes, the multiload is a pain in the neck - but it's very quick and at least on 128K Spectrums you don't always have to load the levels you already negotiated. The +3 version benefits from almost instantaneous loadings from disk and is therefore the closest to the original.

As Chris Jenkins aptly wrote in his review of the game on the January 1988 issue of Sinclair User, the Spectrum version of Out Run suffered from a heavy burden of expectations which wouldn't have been there were it not for the complexity of the coin-op, and the final result was as close as we could get given the limitations of the Spectrum itself.