Spy Hunter

Platforms: Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Arcade, Atari 2600, Atari 8-bit, ColecoVision, Commodore 64, IBM PC/Compatibles, NES / Famicom, ZX Spectrum


Main Genre:
Racing / Driving , Action
Spy / Espionage
Visual Presentation:
Scrolling (Horizontal or Vertical)


IBM PC version of Spy Hunter
IBM PC version of Spy Hunter
Spy Hunter is a James Bond inspired racing/action game originally released in arcades in 1983 by Bally Midway and later ported to several home computers and game consoles. The goal of the game is to drive the freeways while destroying enemy vehicles and protecting civilians. The game uses a top down view of the road and scrolls vertically.


In Spy Hunter, players control a spy driving the G-6155, a James Bond style sports car, with an overhead view of the road. The object the game is to earn as many points as possible by destroying enemy agent vehicles while protecting civilian vehicles. Initially, the player is equipped only with duel forward firing machine guns. To destroy enemy cars players can shoot them or attempt to know them off of the road. From time to time, a weapons van appears on the side of the road; once the player drives past the van, it will speed up and attempt to match the players speed. If the player can succussfully drive up the ramp into the back of the van, additional weapon capabilities are added to the G-6155. The possible upgrades include oil slicks, smoke screens, and surface to air missiles. The type of weapon a particular van will provide is indicated by an icon on top of the van.

In addition to the car, in some sequences players instead control a boat. In certain parts of the game the road forks into two; if the player takes the left turn the car enters a boathouse to transform. Despite the different vehicle, the gameplay overall remains the same; enemy boats will attempt to attack and need to be avoided or destroyed. At times transforming into the boat is optional, however there are some sections where a bridge is out and the boat is the only way to avoid crashing into the water (a message 'Bridge Out' appears on the screen when this is the case to alert the player). The terrain changes with the seasons as well when driving; most of the time the change is cosmetic, however in the winter section the roadway becomes icy making it difficult to steer.

When the game starts, a timer counts down; before the timer runs out the player has an unlimited number of cars and a life is not lost when the player crashes or is destroyed by an enemy. Once the time runs out, each crash causes one life to be lost. The game ends when no more lives remain. The game road in the game doesn't have an end, it goes on continuously until the player loses all lives.

Enemy Agent Vehicles

There are a number of enemy agents in the game, each one with a different vehicle that has slightly different strengths and weaknesses. These include:
  • Switchblade: Knives pop out of the cars tires. If the player is hit by the knives, the G-6155 will crash.
  • The Road Lord: Cars with bullet proof armor; they can only be destroyed by knocking them off of the road.
  • The Enforcer: A limousine; the passenger in the back has a shotgun and attempts to shoot the player off the road.
  • The Mad Bomber: A helicopter which attempts to drop bombs on the player. It can only be destroyed with missiles, otherwise the player needs to dodge the bombs.
  • Barrel Dumper: A boat which drops explosivees in the water.
  • Doctor Torpedo: A boat which fires torpedoes at the player.
When driving, enemy vehicles are a darker blue in color while civilians are other colors; in the water, all of the boats are enemies. If the player accidentally destroys a friendly vehicle, no points will be earned for a short period of time.


Points are earned in Spy Hunter for the distance driven as well as for destroying enemy agents.
  • Driving on the road for each 1/4 screen traveled — 15 points
  • Driving on the water for each 1/4 screen traveled — 25 points
  • Entering or exiting the boathouse — 1,500 points
  • Switchblade — 150 points
  • The Road Lord — 150 points
  • The Enforcer — 500 points
  • The Mad Bomber — 700 points
  • Barrel Dumper — 150 points
  • Doctor Torpedo — 500 points


Platform: Atari 2600
Programmed by: Jeff Lorenz
Platform: NES / Famicom
Programmer: Hiroaki Higashiya
Music: Henry Nicola Mancini, Naoki Kodaka


Click on a picture below to view a larger version.
Arcade Version
Upright Cabinet
Arcade Version
Cockpit variation
Promotional Artwork


Instruction Manual
IBM PC/Compatibles


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