Sega/£29.99/Sega MS

Chase HQ or what? There's no mistaking it. Drive a fast car and capture criminals by bashing into their vehicles. Like Miami Vice cops Tubs and Crocket you get to drive an expensive car. Only yours is better than the TV cops' 'cos you drive a limited edition Ferrari F40 and they only have a Testarossa. Naff!

You'll notice your girlfriend isn't in the passenger seat of your F40 - that's because she has been kidnapped by a criminal syndicate. You get in your car and travel the vast United States in search of your beloved. Touching, huh?

While Battle Out Run is an unashamed rip-off of the Chase HQ cars and crooks coin-op game, it introduces several new elements.

For instance, in the style of Knight Rider, you can be picked up by an enormous articulated lorry. Once inside you may opt to have better tyres fitted, an engine tune, body fix, improved chassis or increased nitro capacity. All this costs money - and it's only by capturing criminals that you get any cash.

You start in Frisco (apparently the prostitution syndicate capital) and must pass through Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Kansas, Chicago, Miami, Washington and New York. During each stage you must race along the highways in search of the villains' getaway vehicle and bump into it. Other cars do their best to get in the way and ramps, straw bales and oil slicks will slow you down. There's a time limit in which to apprehend a crook, so you've got to ensure your foot is down all the way.

While the game may not come tops in terms of originality, it is hugely playable. The graphics are spectacular - some of the best ever to have appeared on the 8-bit Sega - and the sound provides just the right atmosphere.

Don't let Battle Out Run get away.

Zero magazine

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