Chase H.Q. (aka "Chase Headquarters") is an arcade racing / shooter game, released by Taito in 1988 for the arcades and converted by Ocean to many home computers in ZX Spectrum (1988), Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST (1989). It was also released for the Nintendo NES (1989), Nintendo Game Boy (1990/1991), Sega Master System, TurboGrafx-16 (1990) and Sega Game Gear (1991).
STORY / GAMEPLAY Chase H.Q. is a car racing / shooter game but not as the most of racing games we already know. In this game, you control a police vehicle, patrolling the highways until you spot, chase and ram criminal cars, until they finally submit! You have a fast, black Porsche 928S at your disposal and drive through various urban and rural roads, attempting to catch up with a specific car (as per the orders given via 'Nancy', the operative girl back at your HQ). The status panel at the top of the screen indicates the score, the time left, the car's speed (the faster the better) and the distance you need to cover until you find the villain you're chasing. Once the main criminal's car comes on sight, your sirens begin to wail and you have sixty seconds to smash the car into submission, making its driver to pull over and arrest the guy. The criminal's car is constantly moving away from you, so if you repeatedly crash your 928S or drive too slow, the criminal will ultimately escape. During the game, at some points the road splits so you must choose the correct path, otherwise it will take you longer to catch the criminal. In general, Chase H.Q. is a really unique game that looks and plays differently from all the early, car-based video games.
GRAPHICS / SOUND The C64 version offers good graphics but inferior to the CPC's (in terms of colors, scrolling and details). This version's visuals are a bit "blocky" although there are some well designed cars and surroundings like trees, highway lights etc. On the other hand, the sound on the C64 is pretty good with great sound effects like the car's engine, police sirens and crashes! On the C64 conversion, there is in-game music (missing from the CPC and ZX conversions). Also, we must not forget the awesome main-menu music, which is among the best music themes on the C64 games library!