The original Chase HQ on C64 is one of the naffest arcade conversions on the machine (Speccy graphics ahoy!). The thrill of the coin-op original’s high-speed pursuit, sirens blaring, was completely lost on the Commie and a generation of kids who loved nowt more than emulating stuff like TJ Hooker and The A-Team were massively disappointed.

The sequel came less than a year later in late 1990 and was the first GS cart that Ocean sent out for review. Commodore Format gave it issue 3’s cover, slapping the “console compatible” logo on the page for the first time and enthusing over the pace that instant loading adds to the experience.

So you’re cops again, right, and you’ve got to rescue three kidnap victims – one of who’s the Mayor’s daughter. You get into your red sports car with, um, two gears and a gun and off you go. You push forward on the stick to move, change gear with fire button and – if you’ve got one of the GS Cheetah sticks – use a separate trigger for a boost (it’s the space bar on a regular 64).

It’s fast, just like the CF cover says. But it’s also a bit odd – CVG’s review of the “C64 ROM” notices how the road moves faster than the buildings. The cornering feels wonky too, and at times the game feels like it’s correcting you to be where you’re supposed to go. Then there’s that initial high price tag: at twenty quid for roughly twenty minutes of game, it was asking a lot. But it’s alright, is SCI. It’s more fun on cartridge format. The intermissions melt into the levels with a beautiful forward momentum and kudos for using the GS stick’s extra fire button. So it’s alright, but just alright.  The most positive review came from Ludlow: “No tape based game can compete [to SCI]”, said ZZAP!. That’s up for debate, and a cassette game certainly whipped it the following Autumn in the form of System 3’s genre defining Turbocharge. CF

CF SAID: “It suffers in the playability stakes…if you’re a fan of this sort of thing the more than competent graphics and lack of loading time may well outweigh the limited gameplay.”

WE SAY: It’s a good collector’s item ‘cos it’s the first Ocean cart and all, but…Turbocharge, really. Get Turbocharge.