Players Software
1988
Arcade: Platform
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

26,27
Phil King, Mark Caswell
Chris Bourne

If there's something strange going on in your neighbourhood, who you gonna call (all together guys - stop cowering behind that sofa Nick) . . . ? CRIME BUSTERS! Well you would if, after disposing of Mr McGutt and Co in Denizen (Issue 52, 59%), you hadn't become Bennie the Burglar. A light fingered fellow you've been inspired by talk of the annual ' Richard Jones' Barbecue which is being held in Slough. All the rich and famous people will be present with their gold plated filofaxes and white Porsche 911 Turbo convertibles (what about Fiestas? - Ed).

Unfortunately your own plans haven't exactly been the best kept secret either. Yes, I'm afraid (trumpet fanfare) the Ghost Bust ... sorry Crime Busters have heard a whisper or two. Featuring Maggie (no, not that Maggie), The Ghost, The Copper (evening all), and the mysterious Spy, they're all after you. So as you wander through each mansion, pinching almost everything that isn't nailed to the floor, the Crime Busters chase you in an attempt to throw you in the stammer for a very long time.

To aid you in your light fingered quest those clever people at Players have installed trampolines for those, awkward inaccessible floors for the friendly burglar. So if you're to collect the five objects necessary to complete a screen you had better get ready for some speedy bouncing. At the start of the game you're faced with four windows, and four trampolines. These act as a sort of life counter - each time you're caught, you have to leap on to one of the trampolines to re-enter a room. But with each successive capture a window is boarded up, so if you are caught three times the only window left open is the one which leads to the outside world - and the end of the game.

Graphically Crime Busters is good with our burgling friend merrily bouncing around the colourful and well drawn screens, frantically trying to stay out of the hands of the law. With so much action on the screen at one time, you would have thought that the game would be difficult to play, but in fact it's quite the opposite. Playability is high: keeping out of the Crime Busters way, as well as beating the imposed time limit, is not easy but the game is so 'cute' that it draws you back for one more go. Crime Busters is a good budget collect-'em-up game that is well worth the few pennies asked.

MARK … 80%

THE ESSENTIALS
Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Sound: plenty of good effects plus some neat tunelets.
Options: choose opponent for two-player game.

CRITICISM

'Simple ideas are often the best, and this is definitely the case with Crime Busters. Control couldn't be easier; no messing about with a handful of keys - just left and right. Those pesky Crime Busters are all out to get you, so you need total concentration (and maybe a bit of luck) to get anywhere. To complement the devious action, the screens are all surprisingly colourful (although sometimes sickly combinations of colours are used). The 'icing on the cake' is the inclusion of various tunelets and atmospheric spot effects. Crime Busters may get infuriating, but you always want just one more go - well worth getting.' PHIL ... 79%

82%
Cute sprites bounce around colourful screens.
78%
Instantly enthralling and totally frenetic gameplay.
78%
Such a simple idea keeps you coming back for more.
80%