- Manufacturer: Acclaim
- Machine: Nintendo
Knight Rider is an arcade-style driving and shooting game based on the hit TV series of the same name. The show has been out of production for some time - though it still runs on some stations in syndication - and many younger NES game fans may not be familiar with the name.
The Knight Rider series revolved around the crime-fighting Michael Knight and his highly technical car named KITT, a turbo-charged, computer-controlled, talking Trans Am. His assignments came from Devon, Michael's mentor and sponsor in the "Knight Foundation", and with the help of KITT's Bond-like gadgetry, Knight always captured the bad guys.
Knight Rider, the NES game, is very much like the TV series, with Michael on a cross-country mission to eliminate the criminals infesting each city. A nicely detailed picture of Devon is displayed above a map of the United States and southern Canada while he gives you your assignment. After receiving an assignment the player then meets with Bonnie, KITT's mechanic.
To help you get through your mission, you get a detailed schematic of the fuel, shield and weapon systems. On the first mission the player chooses one extra power, such as additional fuel, shield strength, a more powerful engine, 20 missiles or 20 laser blasts for doing in the perpetrators of evil. As you advance through different levels of the game, before the next mission begins, more of these extra powers are available.
As the battle race starts, KITT takes to the road at speeds up to 250 miles per hour while you peer through the windshield. The player has a limited time to reach the outer limits of the city ahead. The dashboard displays timer, gas gauge, score, radar, weapons and other important data, and a "voice gauge", just like the one in the TV KITT car, is displayed in the center of the dash. According to the documentation, KITT "talks", but this is nothing more than a flickering of the voice-gauge graphics and some unintelligible buzzing sounds. The lack of digitized voices, something even the most simple-minded home computers can do, is a bit disappointing.
As Knight and KITT speed along the highway, they come upon enemy trucks and cars, as well as innocent drivers. Good and bad are easily distinguished by color and the fact that the enemy cars shoot at KITT constantly; your mission consists of blasting the opposing cars while avoiding the trucks. When driving over 150 miles per hour, KITT is capable of jumping over cars in front with his "turbo-boost" power. This comes in handy when the highway is particularly congested, but at the cost of a great deal of precious fuel.
When certain enemy cars are blasted, an "up" letter is awarded as the car goes up in smoke. The player maneuvers KITT to catch the letter on the hood for extra time, damage recovery, bonus missiles, extra laser blasts, more gas or an extra life. Also, if you come up behind the Knight Foundation mobile laboratory, the player can acquire additional powers for KITT from Bonnie.
As the player approaches a metropolis, the enemies become more frequent and fierce. With a time limit to reach each city, this is no opportunity to ease up on the gas pedal to concentrate on shooting. While driving, one of three primary weapons is easily selected; the unlimited firepower machine gun, TOW-2 missiles or the most deadly laser gun. The player may pause the game to make the selections, a nice feature when trying to select weapons at high speed.
Once KITT has reached the city, the player faces a very deadly enemy - a large black helicopter, a large black trailer or KARR, the stolen prototype of KITT. This enemy must be foiled in order to enter the city and move on to the next phase of the mission.
When a mission is completed, a 12-digit password is revealed. This password may be used in future games to skip directly to that level of Knight Rider. A practice "drive mode" is also provided, allowing the player to perfect his driving skills or simply enjoy the sights of the cities. The player has three lives per game, and a continue feature is supported up to two times before the game must be restarted from the first city.
The graphics and smooth-scrolling driving effects are well done in Knight Rider. The sound effects are unsophisticated, but the turbo-boost jumping feature of KITT is rather impressive. The 15 different cities provide lots of interesting scenery and challenge, but the game play does get repetitive after a while. Overall, Knight Rider is a decent game for fans of the once-popular TV series.
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Knight Rider, based on the popular T.V. series of the same name, is a driving adventure game. Featuring hi tech, fast driving action, Knight Rider allows players to assume the role of Michael Knight, strapping themselves into Kitt, the fully computerized, rocketpropelled race car. The onboard computer guides players across the United States from city to city and relays onscreen messages from command headquarters. Gameplay becomes increasingly challenging as players compete in both day and night adventures across twenty different terrains, against dozens of enemy vehicles.