The James Bond 007 Dossier

Bond, James Bond.

23. October 2017 10:56
by m

Licence to Kill Game Preview

23. October 2017 10:56 by m | 0 Comments

Computer and Video Game Magazine were very optimistic about the soon to be released James Bond computer game, based on the film Licence To KillLicence To Kill. The magazine also includes a great vintage two page print ad for the game. Fifteen years later, Retro Gamer would not be so enthusiastic about it in their 2004 retrospective, Play Another Day:

"Some versions of this game were better than others though. The Spectrum version springs to mind as being one of the worst. Enemy targets were lost amid the overly detailed levels, and you couldn't see what you were supposed to be shooting. You could also crash into buildings very easily, even though you were in a helicopter and could potentially fly higher. This smacked of hurried design -a blight that would continue to affect the movie tie-in world. The on-foot sections of the game differed from the vehicle levels and featured a very odd control system that involved aiming at enemies with a crosshair that you had to rotate in the right direction. This was an attempt to create something a little different, but it didn't really work, and was just overly difficult."

You can play the Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum versions of this game for yourself free in our online Arcade and decide for youself. 

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James Bond 007 Licence To KillLicence To Kill

After nearly a two-year absence from the Cinemas, that evergreen secret agent, 007 James Bond, returns to the silver screen with a vengeance in Licence To KillLicence To Kill. It promises to be one of the most spectacular Bond films yet, with a dazzling array of stunts and special effects. As with the last two Bond films, Domark have secured the rights to produce a game of the film, and it's looking good. Very good. Paul Glancey sneaks a preview.

Licence To KillLicence To Kill is split into three distinct stages which follow land, sea and air scenes from the film.

The action starts over Cray Cay, an island off the coast of Miami, with 007 and Felix Leiter flying a helicopter while Sanchez makes his escape up the screen in a jeep. Shooting the Jeep is the only way to stop him, but accurate blasting Is difficult when you have to simultaneously dodge around tall trees, telegraph poles and buildings.

Sanchez eventually has to leave the Jeep, so he's forced to leg it. But James follows Commando-style with his Beretta, ready to pick off the Sanchez hordes. By holding the filre button and pushing left or right on the joystick, you can select one of 32 directions of fire, then run up the screen, gun blazing. Dead Sanchezites leave behind extra rounds of ammo, and the odd machine gun to aid the 007 cause.

At the end of the level, Bond has to climb back into the helicopter to pursue his foe, who has just leapt into an aeroplane. To stop the plane, Bond has to swing below the chopper and jump on the tail of the dodging plane, disable it, then attach a rope so that it can be towed to the coast.

The scene changes to the ocean. James is in his scuba gear, and he has to swim through shark-infested waters, stabbing any of Sanchez'z divers who dare to challenge him, and grabbing drugs packages for bonus points.

At the end of the stage, Sanchez's seaplane is just taking off. Quickly, Bond shoots one of the pontoons with his harpoon gun and he's dragged after it. His progress up the line towards the plane is slowed by having to dodge oncoming catamarans piloted by terrorist yachtsmen. Reach the plane and you're onto the third stage, which follows the destruction of Sanchez’s drug factory. The bad guy is making for the border in a convoy of 18-wheeler semis full of drugs. James starts in a cropduster, but he has to jump down onto the rear most truck, take control of it and use it to run the others off the road, dodging missiles which they fire in your direction. The final rig contains Sanchez, and once you've seen that off, the world is safe again.

The ST and Spectrum games are the versions we've seen, and they're looking impressive. The C+VG Bond Game Fan Club (North London Branch) wait with bated breath for the game's release in July across all major formats.

Paul Glancey

Screenshot 1: With the Jeep destroyed, Bond wanders up the vertically scrolling screen blasting an army of baddies with his Beretta. Luckily he can even the odds by finding an Uzi machine pistol!

Screenshot 2: Level three sees Bond hanging off a chopper, attempting to attach a winch to the tail of the baddie's plane. Time isn't on your side, you have to move fast to stop the plane from escaping.


Domark's first Bond licence, A View To A KillA View To A Kill, appeared way back in 1985, and received little acclaim. Well, it was pretty grotty - even Domark admit that - and featured four levels of  naff arcade action with primary school graphics. The tune was quite good, though...

Things got a bit better with Domark's second Bond licence, the 1987 release, The Living DaylightsThe Living Daylights. The gameplay was limited, but fairly enjoyable, and featured Bond wandering along a horizontally scrolling backdrop taking pot-shots at baddies. It was fun, but the general reaction was that more could have been made of the game.

Last Christmas saw the third of the 007 series, Live And Let DieLive And Let Die, the game of the early 70’s Bond film. The film features a lengthy boat chase, and it's this scene that the game is based on. It's a fast-action shoot 'em up, almost like Roadblasters on water, with you whizzing down a neverending river in a speed boat, avoiding obstacles and blasting other craft out of the water. It's a tough and enjoyable game, but didn't really feature Bond as such...

And that brings us bang up to date with Licence To KillLicence To Kill, which certainly looks like the best Bond game yet! We'll bring you a full appraisal of the game in the next issue of C+VG.

He’s used to getting what he wants... This time he wants revenge.

He's big. He's back. He's James Bond 007... and now in a thrilling adaptation from the new movie Licence To KillLicence To Kill, you can take his place.

Licence To KillLicence To Kill is a multi-level, multi-role game - you take the controls of helicopters, boats and tankers, perform some death-defying parachute stunts and take to the seas for a spot of barefoot waterskiing. A steady aim and steady fire is needed - shoot from the hip and take out the 'baddies'.

It's action packed and closely follows the latest adventures of the world's best kept Secret Agent in the brand new and most exciting movie of them all.

James Bond in Licence To KillLicence To Kill... appearing shortly on a small screen near you.


Coming soon on the Atari ST, Amiga, IBM PC, Commodore 64, Amstrad and Spectrum.

Photo: James Bond (Timothy Dalton) and Pam Bouvier (Carey Lowell) in a scene from Licence To KillLicence To Kill

[Source: Computer and Video Game Magazine Issue #93, July 1989, P.1, 12-13, 66-67]

Related Dossiers

Computer & Video Game Magazine's coverage of The Living Daylights

Play vintage James Bond computer games

James Bond's A View To A Thrill

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