This is one of my favourite ZX Spectrum titles, by Costa Panayi of Vortex Software. The Atari ST version was developed back in 1990 by the late Mark Haigh-Hutchinson, it was finished but sadly a publisher was never found. To say I was shocked to recently discover this Atari ST game is a major understatement!
Highway Encounter takes place on.. umm.. a highway during a time of an alien invasion. You’re at one end, with an alien mothership at the other, everything in-between is populated by lots of strange baddies and tricky puzzles. It’s your job is to help a convoy of robots along their road trip and detonate a bomb to blowup the alien scumbags! Of course, an experienced player already know its best to leave the convoy a few screens behind as you clear their path ahead…
Joystick control the best with left/right to rotate, forward to accelerate and pulling back decelerates or stops you dead. Your weapon is a type of energy bolt which is really cool, it can be improved upon thanks to power-ups so keep an eye on your surroundings!
Sound and visuals certainly live up to all my expectations and are vast improvement over the original, without ruining its authentic feel. Its worth noting that Highway Encounter is a finished product so ignore the text on the title screen because all screens are 100%.
Overall, this always was a brilliant game and remains so on Atari ST. It’s a marvellous conversion of the original and remains faithful, without feeling like a cheap ripoff with any unnecessary bloatware. Balanced gameplay, playable as hell and great design help provide a long lasting challenge which will appeal to both older and younger gamers alike. I rate it a perfect 10.