The name “James Bond” never appeared in Bally Midway’s Spy Hunter, but the 007 influence was unmistakable in this 1983 arcade classic. Game designer George Gomez was an avowed fan of the British secret agent with a license to kill, and Spy Hunter allowed him (and the rest of the world) to live out a dangerous, Bond-esque mission over land and sea.
Spy Hunter was actually a fusion of two popular genres: driving and shooting. The secret agent’s car came equipped with grill-mounted machine guns, the better to blow away the nasty vehicles that cluttered the road. Switch Blades were the most common bad cars—black sedans with tire-puncturing knives that extended out from their tires. These baddies could either be blown away or forced off the road, but other cars wouldn’t go down so easily. Road Lords were impervious to your guns, and their bulky size made it difficult to run them into the side of the road. As the game went on, players also ran across The Enforcer, a black limo with a gun-toting passenger.