Enduro Racer (Activision)
I could do a Top 100 of motorbike racers alone. But in any genre there are standouts and this is this is the best one where you have to jump across rivers by wheelying into logs, and ride around on the backs of palm trees on a beach (ahem). Enduro Racer is the slickest and prettiest racer around, and it’s the kind of game that still won’t be showing its age in 20 years time. If you ever wanted to cross Out Run with Helter Skelter, this is the game for you.
Yes, it’s the game that makes Amiga ans ST owners look at your Spectrum with real jealousy, ‘cos the Speccy version of this classic Russian reaction-tester out performs the 16-bit ports every time. In avoiding the temptation to dress the game up unnecessarily with complicated graphics and pointless shimmering backdrops, Mirrorsoft made sure that Tetris on the Speccy captured all the pure compulsion of the original without distractions. Eve though it’s been done a dozen times on the big machines, the Speccy version is still the best Tetris you can buy.
Never mind your Final Fights, never mind your Way Of The Exploding Fists, never mind your International Karates, this is comfortably (if thats the right word) the most brutal beat-’em-up there’s ever been. Eye-watering knees-in-the-groin, sickeningly vicious headbutts, enemies ganging up to hold a player’s arms while someone else punches the living daylights out of him, and the player retaliating with flying kicks at speeding motorcycle riders. (Don’t try this one at home kids.) And all without the slightest danger of ending up in Casualty – what more could you ask?
There’s no shortage of games which call on you to rescue someone or other. Most of them simply ask you to battle through a hostile scenario and reach your goal, at which point everything magically becomes alright. However, in Antics when Barnabee (the bee) reaches his kidnapped cousin Boris (the, er, bee), the story is only half-complete. Barnabee has to guide the weakened and slow-moving Boris all the way back to the start again and, if he goes too fast, poor Boris gets all confused and lost. The frantic rush to go slowly (if you see what I mean) against a tough time limit makes this just about the most heart-wrenching game in the whole world. Aw shucks.