Though it’s sad to turn off Fantasy World Dizzy we must go forwards into the Your Sinclair Top 100 and our next entry at No.#40 is luckily a rather original game, which on initial appearance looks like it contains a rather drunk Dalek! Up slides Highway Encounter from Vortex Software and it’s a good one.
Highway Encounter was programmed back in 1985 by Costa Panayi, who was also the genius behind the rather fantastic game H.A.T.E. which was released under Gremlin Graphics. You take control of five Vortons and it’s your task to guide these Vortons – along with a Lasertron – all the way to Zone Zero, at which point the Lasertron will destroy the invading Alien. Along the way through the many Zones, you will come up against numerous enemies and obstacles which can and will destroy you chances of completing your mission.
The greatest thing about the ZX Spectrum and its limited capabilities is the fact that people like Costa had to stretch their imaginations and use their programming skills rather wisely to create something so rather wonderful as Highway Encounter. Here is a game that requires you to complete your mission by thinking many screens in advance, leaving your remaining Vortons at the mercy of anything that you’ve accidentally let slip by.
This rather good looking 3D isometric game requires a certain level of smarts to enjoy, though that doesn’t mean you have to be a higher-brained snob – you just need to realise that Highway Encounter isn’t a run-and-gun style of game. Look at it more like the grandfather of Lemmings and you’ll soon get the jist of it.
If you’ve never given Highway Encounter a try, load it up today. However if you’ve tried it and not played it in some years reload it and relive something rather brilliant.