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US Gold Ltd
Arcade: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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Nick Roberts, Mark Caswell
Chris Bourne

In the far future mad bio-engineer Dr K creates an army of robotic stormtroopers with which he plans to take over the world. Andy Attacker and Ben Breaker must infiltrate then) levels of K's fortress, destroy each level as they go and put down Dr K.

They're armed with a rocket launcher, a machine gun and a supply of smart bombs. All armament is limited, so accurate aim is in order, and a beady eye for the boxes of ammo lying about: run into them to replenish flagging stocks. If caught in the embarassing position of zero ammo, dazzle the droids with martial arts prowess.

To destroy each level (and thus move on) you must watch out for the crosses on the floor (X literally marks the spot). Run over these to plant the bombs to blow up the section: when all explosives have been planted - run like hell for the exit. The backgrounds change from level to level, so one minute you may be in a scrap yard and the next in a huge warehouse. And apart from the drones and other assorted mobile menaces, many traps and pitfalls await the unwary warrior.

Although Crackdown is tough, it's certainly worth the effort to struggle through. The coin-op atmosphere has been translated very well, with the ability for both characters to be on the screen at one time its main feature. And unlike Gauntlet, Ben and Andy move around the screen independently. A great blast-'em-up extravaganza from a recently rather quiet US Gold.

MARK ... 89%


'What ? You mean this was actually a Sega coin-op? I'm sorry, Crackdown may be a brave try at a conversion and maybe the Speccy just isn't up to the intricate gameplay graphics involved, but it sadly hasn't worked. I played it and played it until I was almost pulling my hair out by the roots. I bet you're wondering what is wrong with the game? Well, the graphics are well below par. The sprites are badly drawn and seem to change shape when you turn a corner (?!). Each level is a different colour monochrome, which means that when a few enemies, the background and you are all in the same little space you can't see what the hell is going on. Any potential game thrill is just swamped by this one handycap. Maybe it's my eyesight, as Mart obviously loves it, but sorry chaps, Crackdown is a big disappointment. I'd rather play US Gold's E-Motion instead.' NICK ... 48%

Love it, hate it: a brave blast-'em-up with cracked down.