A Complete History Of James Bond Video Games: The 1990s - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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A Complete History Of James Bond Video Games: The 1990s

The game's Bond. James Bond.


When we left our history of the James Bond video games, we'd reached the end of the 1980s and the fourth game produced by Domark, the tie-in for Licence To Kill. It was, arguably, a high point in the Domark titles (although, admittedly, the bar's pretty low for all of them). Today we begin a new decade with the developer's penultimate release, and, for me, the low point in them (again, bar is low, so...).


Just as they'd done with the release of Live And Let Die in 1988, Domark have cobbled together, what looks like, a Spy Hunter rip-off and then given it the title of James Bond: The Spy Who loved me, presumably in a effort to shift more copies.

Arriving in 1990 for the Atari ST, Amiga, Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum, the game suffers from terrible controls and very low production values. The latter is true for the next title, also released in 1990...


What a bizarre release this is. James Bond 007: The Stealth Affair is a point and click adventure game, that see's James Bond working for the CIA (?). Released for DOS, Amiga and Atari ST, it was developed by Interplay and released, simply, as Operation Stealth everywhere in the world apart from the USA, where the name James Bond was licenced (to sell). Our 'hero' was called John Glames in the UK version.

1990 was a low point for cash-ins. But then 1992 wasn't much better...


Based on the animated series of the same name, two James Bond Jr. games were released in 1992, one for the NES and one for the SNES. Both were pretty poor and came with the higher price tag that the console systems commanded, meaning the value for money aspect was the worst of the bunch to date. Both were developed by THQ. Presumably because of console restrictions, the NES version was a platformer/puzzler, whereas the SNES was more of an action/shoot 'em up.

At this point people may have been thinking, come back Domark, all is forgiven. But they'd be wrong...


With Bond in limbo, movie-wise that is, Domark got into the console business in 1993 and released a very un-James Bond title for the Sega Master System, Game Gear, and Mega Drive. Titled, James Bond 007: The Duel it's a platformer that has no relevance to anything in the world of Bond, outside of shooting people. Fortunately it was Domark's last release, so let's quickly move on as we go from the bottom of the barrel to peak Bond awesomeness...


The sole reason I will not part with my Nintendo 64 (well, this and Perfect Dark - which was developed by the same team) 1997's Goldeneye 007 is not only hands down the best James Bond video game out there, it's the best movie to video game adaptation bar none.

As movie tie-ins go, though, GoldenEye 007 was pretty late to the party. Pierce Brosnan's debut Bond film had been released in 1995 and his second, Tomorrow Never Dies, was due to premiere a couple of months after this game made it into stores. But work had actually begun on the game before Goldeneye the film was released. However, rather than trying to release the game in tandem with the movie, the developers, Rare, took the decision to give the programmers as much time as they needed to finish the game. And so GoldenEye 007 had an unusually long development process (especially so for the era) of two and a half years!

And boy did it pay off! A fantastic one player mode with a variety of missions based around the film, and the best split-screen multi-player deathmatch mode you are going to find anyway. We love GoldenEye 007 so much we wrote a whole article on it.

At around the same time, between the films release in 1995 and slightly after GoldenEye 007 arrived in 1997, Tiger Electronics released a handheld video game also titled GoldenEye...


The game was available in two different versions: the gamepad variant above, with an LCD display, a cross-shaped push button and two line-shaped ones and four settings buttons on the lower side of the screen, and the "Grip Games" line variant, shaped like a pistol grip, with a trigger used to shoot and other buttons on the rear. A very basic affair, especially for the mid-90s, but worth including on our list. You would've been gutted, though, if you'd asked for "the GoldenEye game" for Christmas back in 1997 and ended up with this rather than the N64 version, wouldn't you?

Nintendo's GoldenEye 007 has never been topped, but there's still been some good James Bond video games in the year's since, and we have two more to cover in this decade...


Released for the Game Boy in 1998, James Bond: 007 is a top-down action/adventure game which includes many characters from Bond films in an all-new story. There are 11 levels, and also several gambling minigames, such as Baccarat and Blackjack. It's a fairly simple title but makes the most of what the original Game Boy was capable of. Certainly passing the time until a new Bond film arrived...


Everybody wished Rare had developed the new Bond game, unfortunately Electronic Arts got the licence and the first of their 8 releases is probably their worst.

Released for the PlayStation in 1999, Tomorrow Never Dies has awkward controls, average gameplay and a very short story. It's another case of selling a below-average product solely on the James Bond name attached. Such a shame.

Next time we move into the 21st Century, so make the jump by clicking here to complete our round-up of James Bond video games.

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