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Topo Soft
1988
Arcade: Action
£8.99
Multiple languages (see individual downloads)
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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77
Stuart Wynne, Nick Roberts, Phil King
Chris Bourne

BLOWING AWAY CRIME IN THE WINDY CITY

The 1930s were tough the world over, but Chicago had it roughest. While the rich ate off gold plates, most people stood in line at the soup kitchens. Enough to drive you to drink you say? Well maybe, but it was Prohibition then and alcohol was banned. Being on the border with Canada, smuggling whisky into Chicago was easy.

Prohibition was a dumb idea, but the smugglers' brutality was legendary- no wonder the cops kept out of their way. That was, until I announced I'd raid a warehouse packed with alcohol. The press even printed my route -through the port, city outskirts, city centre then the warehouse itself. It was just me, my machine gun and a few sticks of dynamite against hundreds of hoodlums.

Starting off in the port, there were two levels to walk along. But gun-toting gangsters were popping out from behind crates all over the place. If I wanted to stay alive I had to keep moving. Unfortunately the Thompson machine gun has a big recoil, firing meant I had to stand still. It's a big gun too, so even when I got in my sleek Chevrolet firing meant I had to stick my head out - risking getting it blown off.

Nowadays of course, it's just entertainment for people. The goody gets shot and people leave the cinema - if everyone leaves the movie's over. Myself, I like the gangster movies. The actors look real good, especially the baddies, even if they move a little stiffly. The backgrounds are great too, with enough detail that the lack of colour hardly matters. Chicago 30's is a lot like some of the shoot-'em-up scenes in that RoboCop movie, and while it lacks the variety of that game, it's faster, harder and generally well worth the price of admission.

STUART 82%

THE ESSENTIALS
Joysticks: Cursor. Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: detailed and atmospheric
Sound: fair title tune, in-game shooting effects

CRITICISM

'Funny accents, violin cases and dames at the ready - the gangsters are in town in Chicago 30's. It's another of those 'shooty shooty' games where the idea is mass slaughter of everything on screen. Great attention has been given to the detail in the graphics and all the sprites are animated well, but unfortunately the screens are mainly monochrome with a colourful border. There is some pretty good sound in there though, with a pleasing tune at the start and a few in-game effects to jolly things along. The main let-down is the lack of variety in the gameplay: just walking along, shooting all the gangsters. However, the game does pick up a bit when you get in the car, and despite a few flaws, it's an action-packed shoot- 'em-up.' NICK … 82%

'I must admit I'm a fan of old gangster movies and I often watch The Untouchables (don't mention that! - Danielle) on TV. So I relished the chance to bump off a few mobsters myself. And I'm glad to say I'm not disappointed; Chicago 30's is a very playable shoot-'em-up. Okay, so the action is very similar to that in RoboCop, but at least you don't have to worry about limited ammo. And a great atmosphere is created by the detailed backdrops - they're monochromatic, but then so are the old films! I especially like the clever cinema screen effect. Chicago 30's combines great presentation with addictive gameplay. You certainly don't need to be drunk to enjoy it!' PHIL ... 83%

General Rating: Chicago in the 30's was not a nice place to live, but it makes a great game setting.

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Screenshot Text

BEAT THE BOOZE

Progress is easier on the top level of the play area.

Shoot the gangsters before they have a chance to shoot back.

In the car, don't fire unless it's safe to pop your head out of the window!