Buggy Boy was likely my first ever racing game. At the time I was playing it on the Commodore 64, I was also finding out about Ant Attack, Bubble Bobble, Grog’s Revenge, Bruce Lee, and countless other classics of the time. I don’t remember any other racing games from my early years, just Buggy Boy. And on deciding what game to write up on for this Throwback Thursday, for some reason Buggy Boy reared his beautiful head and it all came flooding back to me.
The game is simple enough, race around a track picking up point banners, avoid obstacles of which there are many, and collect a series of coloured flags which, if I remember correctly, act as a points bonus if you manage to do so. It has a great sense of speed and you get to play through different tracks with their own different themes.
Those cute little Casio keyboard-like sound effects ring well with me. I love the boulders on the track, the effect of the tunnels appearing from nowhere, the weird roads running through what can only be described as mini-oceans, the other cars which seem absolutely bladdered getting in your way, and of course, the only reason I ever REALLY played Buggy Boy… hitting that damn football into the heavens. You don’t know satisfaction until you see this that ball go shuttling off into the beyond.
I never played it on other systems, though from checking it out on Youtube, the CPC looked particularly haggard. The Atari ST version graphically is stunning in comparison to the Commodore 64, as is the Amiga too, but they both seem so slow which is bizarre considering the extra technological oomph these two had over the C64. As for the Spectrum version… let’s not.
Then there’s the arcade version which all of the home releases were ported from. It’s pretty immense. Graphically, it blows everything else out of the water, it’s super smooth and slick. The speed is just right, and hitting that football has never felt better. It still feels like it needed some in-game music though, something all versions were sorely missing. Buggy Boy is a fantastic arcade racer from the mid-80s, and if you are into your home retro gaming systems, you’ve either already played this instant classic, or were neglected as a child being brought up. Play it, it’s soooooooo fun.
See me wishing I was 2 years old again @auto2112