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Stop the Express

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Released: 1983

Genre: Platformer

Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum

Publisher: Sinclair

Developer: Hudson

Submitted by: Alex Reeves

Who hasn't dreamt of running along the top of a moving train, ducking under bridges and dodging knives thrown by chasing bad guys?  What if there was a game you get to do all all of these things, with an added commentry in dodgy Japanese / English?

In this Spectrum game (also came out on the Commodore 64 and MSX, but my memory was of the speccy) you played the hero, tasked with fighting his way to the front of a speeding train in order to stop it. Not exactly sure why.

The early stages of the game involved running along the top of the train, jumping the gaps, and ducking to avoid bridges and flying knives.  You were chased by strange red men (this was the 80's, they were probably Russian agents) who you could finish off with a flying kick.  There were also birds which could be captured by jumping and grabbing them, and then releasing them to destroy the enemy agents.

On progressing to later stages you were placed inside the carriages, where you could hand from the overhead straps to dodge the agents, but not for too long as you would be attacked by ghosts(?).

Once you progress beyond this stage the train slows and you are rewarded with a congratulatory message before cycling through the levels again, but with more agents.

This game featured chunky, colourful graphics and smooth animation, with suprisingly addictive gameplay given the limited number of levels.  A rare gem from Sinclair Research.

"Congraturation! You Sucsess!"