Not too long after the release of Car Wars, Bally Midway published the arcade game Spy Hunter. At first glance, Spy Hunter appears just like any other racing old-school video game but it has a few minor differences that set it apart. The first thing that really stands out from the other racing games is the fact that players are given a machine gun at their disposal to take down enemy cars. As the game progresses, players have the option to upgrade their weapons by entering a “Weapons Van” that appears from time to time. Weapons include oil slicks, smoke screens, and surface-to-air missiles. It’s even possible for the car to transform into a go-fast boat if the player is lucky enough to drive through a special boathouse that rarely appears.
Road Pirates takes most of its inspiration from the overall concept of Spy Hunter. While it’s true that Road Pirates will not be an arcade-style game and it will be turned-based, Road Pirates takes its source of inspiration from Spy Hunter in the sense that it’s a video game where players combat while driving. Nowadays, there are plenty of games which allow you to combat while driving but very few of them focus purely on this aspect of the game. Road Pirates only introduces a few minor extensions to this concept and simplifies the driving aspect in exchange for a more strategic combat. However, it ultimately remains true to being a driving-combat game and that’s what makes Spy Hunter such a good source of inspiration.