The First 100% QuickBasic Game Review Magazine
Updated November 20, 2004

Game Reviews 42 RPGs 55 Arcade 34 Puzzle 18 Platform 10 Strategy
Sections QB News Site Archives Game Guides Our Projects Entertainment Awards QB Links
Interact QB Chatroom Mailing List Submissions Link to Us Job Openings

The Hunt
(Dark Legends Software)

"The Hunt is On!"

Malcolm Rhodes is on the run, to save his life and his integrity. After being wrongfully accused and sentenced to death, Malcolm takes one final, desperate measure... stealing the judge's car and heading for the border.

Driving against traffic and making death-defying jumps along the way, Malcolm has to dodge police cars and turn at high speeds through forests and highways. Can Malcolm prove his innocence, or has his time run out?

Game Review
Graphics (n.)
The use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
The Hunt starts out promising, with a fully original graphics set. Of course, graphics aren't everything in action games like this but Terry serves up some simple but fine visuals. The cars have clear outlines so you can see them easily, and the town and country tiles are all crisp and consistent. Add to that a good quantity of cars, and the graphics, overall, do what they're supposed to do.

The problem is, the screen is bog-standard 13h, and the graphics are blocky at best. This is painfully obvious when cars are turning (your car has three frames of animation) - as diagonal lines have the stair-stepping effect.

Sound/Music (n.)
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
N/A I really can't give any score here. There is no music, mostly because Terry tried to avoid third-party libraries. There are also no sound effects, except for the annoying crackling when text is displayed on the screen (probably caused by Windows XP).
Gameplay (n.)
The precision of control and involvement of character within its universe
First of all, I have to congratulate Terry on making this a one-man effort. Except for a keyboard routine or two, Terry coded the whole thing including ASM by himself, and also drew all the graphics - a rare feat in the QB scene today.

This game will remind you of R-Type. A lot. Although he's included Easy, Normal and Pro settings, choose Easy. The Hunt runs ridiculously fast, giving you less than a blink between instant death and success. A real car chase might be like that, but it doesn't make for fun gaming.

Your basic aim is to get to the border, evading civilian cars, cops and obstacles. This is no Grand Theft Auto, despite the viewpoint. One collision and you're toast. Skillful handling is required, plus alertness and a whole lot of patience. Memorize the car patterns, learn which path to take, and you'll make it. But first you'll have to play through dozens of times learning these things.

It's fast, and you'll crash often, but you will be strangely compelled to play on and eventually complete it. Terry has crafted a varied area to play in, complete with scenery, traffic flows and scripted cars that get in your way. It all adds up to a fun gameplay experience.

Story (n.)
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
Average. There's a negligible story here - as Malcolm Rhodes, an ex-Army driver who has been wrongly convicted for murder. You steal the judge's car to make a daring escape - cue police teams and roadblocks. It's a fitting plot for an action game, where the emphasis is on the gameplay. Especially the final stretches of the game - everything culminates in a desperate struggle to escape. Terry's not trying to involve you in the game with an intricate story, but it does the job.
Replay Value (n.)
The timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated again and again
The Hunt only holds an average replay value. While it features three difficulties and a variety of areas, the overall game is fairly short and you'll soon get bored. Sure, you'll bear with any annoyances until you complete the game, and maybe you'll try harder difficulties. It's even good for a quick play now and then. However, I'll be honest - there isn't much to the game. No powerups, stunts or multiple routes (although the end "boss" is great fun). Once you've completed it once or twice, chances are you won't go back.
Challenge (v.)
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and reflexes
The Hunt certainly provides a challenge! Here at V Planet we award zero points for a near-impossible game, and at first you'd think it deserves nothing at all. However, the learning curve is steady, and after playing a while you'll soon master the art of weaving around traffic - good practice for your next bank job.

When you've just about found a way to complete the game without running out of credits, you can play Normal (if you stated on Easy) or Pro modes for a harder experience that will fulfill more skilled players.

Fun Factor (n.)
The overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
The Hunt is fun, simple and accessible. With just the arrow keys, dodge everything and survive on. Terry has added lots of variety by changing the scenery as you advance, adding surprise situations that will have you frantically twisting the car around the streams of oncoming traffic.

One noticeable feature happens when you crash (an event you'll experience often). You can move the car to any on-screen position before replaying. This is both a blessing and a curse. It's great that you don't restart from a checkpoint - the game keeps flowing and doesn't get repetitive as fast as it would. Unfortunately, a player could easily cheat by placing the car past other obstacles in the distance that he/she hasn't met yet.
Also, more annoyingly, you could place the car and continue only to crash into another car that just flew into you without warning. Since you don't know where the cars are coming from (well, until you've replayed it a couple of hundred times over), it's pretty much luck as to whether or not you'll get crushed as soon as you play. There are few collision-detections errors there too - around lights for example.

However, the most grave problem in the game is particularly sad as it would be easy to correct - the slowness of the restarts. The lightning pace of The Hunt is destroyed when you crash, as the letters slowly arrive at one word per minute, accompanied by a speaker-busting crackle. Once you've waited for the "Place your car" sentences to print, you place the car, then the "Ready...Set...Go" lines appear. Sounds OK? Remember that you're going to crash a lot, it does get tiring. In my opinion, the second set of lines only would be fine. It's one thing giving players warning before they start, it's another to bore them completely.

That said, The Hunt remains fun - a solid, playable game fully worthy of three stars. The attention to detail in the flows of traffic, chasing police cars and roadblocks creates a diversity of gameplay that keeps it flowing, despite the noisy breaks.

The Hunt Reviewed by Richard Harris

Players 1 player Genre: Arcade Game
Rating To solve: 2-3 hours Final Rating: 15/35

To download The Hunt (102KB), click here.
wIf you're unzipping this program in DOS, you may have to use the -d option.
wTo play The Hunt, unzip the file and run "HUNT.EXE".

Back to Arcade Games Page

Game Summary
Coding Group
Dark Legends Software 
Homepage URL
1 player
Final Rating
15 out of 35 points

The Highs: Action set-pieces, thrilling racing and devious level design.
The Lows: "Crash! 4 lives left. Put your car into position."

V Planet! Archive
This is an archive of V Planet, circa November 2004, when the site was last active. This is read-only, and preserved here as part of the QB Zines Archive at Pete's QB Site.

Site Highlights
2004 QB Gaming Gold Awards Almost Set To Begin!
Get ready for this year's Gaming Golds! After a long hiatus, this year promises to be one of the biggest galas in the history of the QB world. Who will take home the gold this year?

Site Watch
Pete's QBasic Site
The original king of QB reviews is back with a vengeance! Check out the new and improved version of his website and don't forget to upload your latest QB projects to Pete's new download section!

Antz Entertainment
GBGames QBasic
HyperRealistic Games
Jocke the Beast
Pete's QBasic Site
Pickers Games Website
Piptol Productions
Programmer's Heaven
QB Colony
QB Chronicles
QB: Cult Magazine
QBasic/QuickBasic News
QBasic Contest
Statto Software


QBasicNews.comGBGames QB Game Review SiteStattoNet (Links/Site Reviews)Antz EntertainmentQB Top 50QBRPG Top 50The Hulla-Balloo NetworkQB45 (Future Software)