Set in the 21st century, a band of terrorists haven stolen a series of top-secret documents and objects, all of which must be retrieved. Ranging from nuclear devices to the crown jewels the assorted stolen goodies are handed to the player at the start of each game, and the player must then run the gauntlet through wave after wave of enemy sprites until the loot is safely returned.
However, while all this makes Hydra sound like a frantic car racing game, it has the novelty of actually being set in a boat with the cars and motorbikes that are associated with the many car games replaced by boats and jet-skis. Apart from the water-bound scenario, though, there is very little to recommend about Hydra, and it is basically another run-of-the-mill race game.
ICE Software, the team behind SCI and Turbo Outrun, have produced a very workman-like conversion, and whilst everything from the coin-op is present, the actual 3D update is jerky and cluttered, killing off any real feeling of speed. In addition, and although this is a fault of the original coin-op, the actual gamplay is tired and repetitive and made even more annoying thanks to some unavoidable collisions and extremely lax sprite detection.
That’s not to say that no enjoyment can be gleamed from Hydra. It is fairly playable despite these faults, it’s just in terms of presentation and value for money, Hydra can’t cut it.