Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
A big robbery has taken place and all the criminals are high-tailing it to different parts of the country in high speed vehicles! Your Ferrari F40 is the fastest car in the state, so it's up to you to burn rubber and apprehend the villains before they reach freedom!
The action starts some distance behind each criminal, and you've got to race along through heavy traffic to catch up. Sometimes a friendly lorry appears and lowers its tailgate so that you can drive in. Once inside you can buy extra goodies for your car to improve its performance (and you need all the help you can get on later levels!).
When the criminal is finally in sight a bar appears at the top of the screen and you've got to smash him off the road with repeated hits to make him surrender.
The game is played over a strict time limit, and failure to smash the baddie off the road before the timer expires results in the end of the game. Arrest the criminal and you move onto the next, more difficult level where you have to capture an even faster felon!
Battle Outrun bears a remarkable resemblance to Chase HQ, and while it's pretty good fun, there are a couple of things which I found annoying. First of all there's no indication of the distance between you and the criminal, so you're never quite sure how well you're doing. The other thing is that the game isn t particularly difficult. It doesn't take too long to suss out the game and capture all eight criminals, and once you've done that the game's appeal wanes. On the positive side, Battle Outrun has plenty of action, great graphics and a choice of soundtracks and that's enough to keep most racing fans happy. But if you want my honest opinion, I'd wait and see what Sega's forthcoming official conversion of Chase HQ is like before buying this - we'll be reviewing it next month!