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 Spectrum ZX conversion offers nice visuals with similar details found on the CPC (obviously the CPC version looks like it's being ported from the ZX), but the colors on the ZX are limited to its classic palette. The actual "side-of-the-road" features in this conversion could've been more detailed as they look "blocky", but the road itself is designed in a perfect perspective and moves smoothly and quickly. Note that, strangely enough, the game runs smooth and way better than the C64 version(!) The ZX sound is also good, with some nice car engine, police siren and car crash sound effects. The game's music is found only at the main menu and there are no tunes during gameplay (a feature that only the Commodore 64 version has).
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CPU: Z80 @ 3.5 MHz MEMORY: 16 KB / 48 KB / 128 KB GRAPHICS: Video output is through an RF modulator and was designed for use with contemporary portable television sets, for a simple colour graphic display. Features a palette of 15 shades: seven colours at two levels of brightness each, plus black. The image resolution is 256x192 with the same colour limitations. SOUND: Early models (48k) had sound output through a beeper on the machine itself. This is capable of producing one channel with 10 octaves. Late models (128k) fetured a three-channel audio via the AY-3-8912 chip, MIDI compatibility