Badlands - Rerelease
Copyright/Publisher: Tengen/Domark, Programmed By: Steven Collins, Music By:
Matt Furniss, Release Year: 1990, Genre: Racing Sports, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

Debris is piled high in every direction, and rotting mounds of putrid gunge litter the floor: MARK 'TOXIC AVENGER' CASWELL's bedroom is a sight indeed, so we thought he'd feel right at home reviewing this post apocalyptic romp...

Super Sprint-style games have been around since the inception of the Commodore 64, and Issue 68 saw the arrival in the ZZAP! pit-stop of another one. Based on the Tengen coin-op of yesteryear, Badlands takes the player to a Mad Max-style post apocalyptic world. A vast nuclear was has devastated the planet we know, and created a radioactive hell (ie the ZZAP! office after Phil opens his lunch box).

But motor racing is still a popular pastime with the remnants of humanity. Violent contests are held in a zone called the 'Badlands'. Cars are armed and armoured and losers don't walk away (they're often stretchered off).

There are eight single-screen, plan-view tracks and one or two players can participate. Each race is hotly contested by three cars (at least one computer-controlled), with four laps of the track needed to complete the current section.

The first couple of tracks are pretty straightforward, but they soon become very tortouour (slam on those acnhors, buster). Added to the twisty route are other nasty surprised such as oil and water patches, death-defying jumps and spikes.

Spanner in the works
Also to be found scattered around are golden spanners - used to purchase missiles, tyres, turbos, speed and shields. The missiels are especially handy: they blow the frag out of other cars, so are best used when you're lagging behind.

When Badlands was first reviewed, the ZZAP! team of the day were less than impressed: 41% is, in my opinion, too low a mark. I get the feeling that neither Stu, Rob, Phil or Wozza like Super Sprint-style games (not true! - Phil), and this jaundiced their review.

I personally love racing games and found Badlands very playable. As with many games of this type, the car's initially frustrating to control. And this is what puts a lot of people off the genre but a bit of patience pays great dividends.

On the graphics front, Badlands is sligtly on the blocky side, but this is nothing to really gripe about. You either love or hate this game type, and I love it.


Obstacles (of) Course
Oil - This spins your car around and is a real pain in the posterior.

Water - Slows down the player's car, this is bad news if you've streaked ahead of the opposition.

Spikes - These pop up in the most awkward spots, they can be very annoying if you're in the lead.

Jumps - These are like motorway flyovers without the centre section; keep your speed up and you'll get over 'em.

Moving Walls - More ofren than not these are useful as they provide a shortcut. But don't get caight in one as it closes.

What Do Spanners Make?
Missiles - Useful for when the competition's ahead of you: blast those suckers to Hades and back!

Tyres - These improve the road handling of your vehicle.

Turbo - For sheer power, collect this power-up.

Speed - This allows you to move like a bat out of hell from the starting grid.

Shields - These little beauties protect you from anything the opposition chucks your way.