Developer: Adam Dawes
Released: November 2003
Available on: Direct Download
Highway Pursuit is a freeware arcade game by Adam Dawes, inspired by the retro game Spy Hunter. You play as an agent whose goal is to clean the treacherous roads of villainous drivers, with the help of Ashley who talks to you over the radio and an army of lorries to help you on your way with weapons and repairs.
The core gameplay of Highway Pursuit is simple to understand but hard to master. Your car is fitted with a machine gun with infinite ammo, which is used to destroy enemy vehicles – who will damage you however they can. Destroying several enemies in a short time multiplies the score you gain from them while destroying civilian vehicles will penalize you by freezing the score counter for some time. Lorries provide weapons such as oil slicks, smoke, or missiles to fend off pursuing enemies. Other hazards include enemy helicopters, going off-road, dense fog, icy roads, collapsed bridges, and insanely sharp twists and turns. Your goal is to make it as far as possible using everything the game gives you.
The game is relentless in its pursuit of stopping you, with the slightest mistake leading to severe damage or even losing a life. Not letting your guard down is essential to weaving through cars, avoiding speeding enemies and slowing down through tight turns. Mastery of the driving, dodging hazards and using your weaponry is ultimately the most rewarding aspect of the game, and it’s always a joy being one mile ahead of the others.
Visuals and Audio
Visually speaking, the game looks great, with simple but varied detailed environments that still hold up even to indie games of today. Though the game only has three music tracks, with only one being used during gameplay, they’re all great listens, especially the main track which remains exciting and perfectly fits the high-speed action. All that said, while the game’s online leaderboards are functional, seeing more than the top 100 entries is impossible due to an error – thus reducing the arcade value of the game.
Highway Pursuit is an exhilarating ride and an overall challenging experience that will take you several attempts to visit all the environments and nail the scoring system down but remains a fun and thrilling ride throughout. With its lack of a price tag, I wholly recommend it to fans of arcade driving games.