Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Game of the Day - Buggy Boy

Buggy Boy (aka Speed Buggy) is a quasi-cutesy over-the-shoulder third person racer  - although you aren't racing anybody but yourself.  Unlike many other driving games, points are actually the main goal of Buggy Boy.

Whereas in other drivers, I find myself simply trying to qualify or to finish or to place or to get to the next race, Buggy Boy is designed as a point gathering harvest and plays very well.

You drive through any of the five different courses on a dune buggy.  The steering controls are analog, so you can use many different inputs - I liked using my spinner the best.  So you steer and have three buttons - accelerate, brake and gear shift.  Again, the accelerate and brake were designed to be analog (pedals) so you can configure them any way you want on MAME (but who in the hell ever uses the brake on these games??????).
So, kind of like a ski slope, you drive into flags and thru gates to collect their posted points. You also need to drive thru the "time" gates to add time to your round.  If the time runs out before the end of the track, your game is over.  A very nice addition to the scoring is that on the upper right there is a sequence of colored flags - get all the colors in order (you can get other flags in between) and you get a bonus and a small amount of time to get additional, higher scoring flags.  So, not only are you going for the flag, gates and points, but you have to make sure you are getting the right ones to max out your pointage.  By the way, the KLOV entry for this game mentions that you get more points if you collect the flags while on two wheels.  Nice.  Finally, make it to the end of the track in time, and collect additional copious bonuses.
Buggy Boy is simple, quick and cute.  The graphics are nice and the levels differ greatly from each other.  Their graphics, backgrounds, day vs night, and tracks all look and play differently and this adds greatly to the life of the game.

I don't review a lot of driving games, but Buggy Boy stands out for simple, straight-forward fun.


  1. This one looks familiar... I'm going to have to try it, because I think this is one of those that I played a few times as a kid and always wanted to play more of.

    Thanks, Zach! You always find games I had completely forgotten about!

  2. I love this game, mainly because of the wonderful C64 conversion. It seems a simple game but it has a decent scoring system with the coloured flags, gates etc.

    Here's the C64 version, it looks chunky but the gameplay is spot on: