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Juggernaut

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Released: 1985

Genre: Strategy

Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum

Publisher: CRL

Developer: Pete Cooke

Submitted by: Ian Marks

‘I’ve got a great big Convoy… a convoy coming your way!’

Lorries were great in the 80’s.. there was Convoy (film and song), Every Which Way but Loose (Clint and a monkey), BJ and the Bear (which was a TV series about a lorry driver and a monkey – not an illegal porn film), the ‘I like trucking’ song on Not the Nine O Clock News and the Yorkie adverts.

Oh yes Lorries were cool… and CRL wanted a piece of this lorry glory.

And so Juggernaut was born.

Unfortunately Juggernaut was too bloody hard to be cool, and although it was well written and very clever, it was too frustrating to be called fun.

In the game you got employed by a haulage company to deliver pet food (or some other product) to a location across town. Success was measured by getting there with little damage, all your cargo intact, and in good time. Also without turning into a burning fireball of death as you crashed into people’s houses. This unfortunately happened often.

Graphically it is viewed from above, with your rig represented by wire frame graphics. It works very well, and playing it today it looks a bit (I’m emphasising the ‘a bit’) like the first GTA game. Sadly there is no traffic on the roads but you, but you don’t really notice this because the lorry itself is impossible to drive…

At this point I’ll admit that in real life I’ve never driven an HGV vehicle, but it can’t be as hard as this. It takes at least 10 seconds for the lorry to answer your command. It behaves more like you’d expect an oil tanker to react. You have to predict what you want to do well in advance, otherwise it’s another wrecked truck for you.

You could use phone boxes (more likely crash into them) if you could stop in time, to ask for directions, and you could refuel at petrol stations. In truth, you’d be lucky to get off the first screen.

The final bad point, and this was the deal breaker for me… there was no monkey companion. If TV and film have taught us anything it’s that no self respecting lorry driver went anywhere without a primate!

Shame on you CRL.

A good try though… and not an off colour Jeremy Clarkson joke in sight.