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Herve Trisson
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K

Other Links

Mark Caswell, Nick Roberts
Chris Bourne

He's on his way! Erm... Well, actually, he's here (at last!). Jump into the shoes of Dick Tracy, retracing his steps from the last summer's quite-a-hit movie, searching for Big Boy Caprice and his gang.

The Dick Tracy story takes place in 1930s Manhattan and everybody seems to have big yellow trenchcoats, trilby hats and carry violin cases under their arms! Dick has to rescue the lovely Tess Trueheart, who's been kidnapped by Caprice and hidden somewhere in the city. Getting his loved one back isn't going to be easy, especially as at the start of the game he only has his fists to pop the baddies with.

There are five levels, each with between 10 and 15 screens and end-of-level hard nuts. Dick only has three types of baddy to look out for: blokes with fists, blokes with guns and blokes leaning out of windows with guns! It you're wondering how the hell you kill a gun-wielding maniac with your fists, you'll be glad to learn that once a man has been killed he drops his weapon, leaving it free for Dick to pick up and use. There are two gun types: a normal handgun that fires one bullet at a time and a machine gun (the latter is much more fun!).

All this sounds really impressive but the truth is that Dick Tracy incorporates little interesting gameplay. All you have to do is run around shooting anything that moves and picking up the weapons that are left behind. You don't even have to worry about ammo, as both guns have an inexhaustible supply.

It's a bit like an old-fashioned movie, ie, it's in black and while and there's no sound. Don't laugh, it's true! The only colour is a tiny bit of yellow and cyan on the bottom of the screen; all the sprites and backgrounds, although quite well drawn, are in black and while monochrome. And that's about it. It looks okay and the animation's not bad but Dick Tracy's gameplay is incredibly simplistic - it took me just under an hour to complete it.

NICK ... 34%


'The Dick Tracy sprite is recognisable, but killing the gangsters is a piece of cake. Okay, at the start you only have fists for defence, but when a gun is in your possession it's simplicity itself to finish the game. Very poor value for money - and where's Madonna?!' MARK ... 30%

A classic example of the 'big licence, no gameplay' syndrome.


Screenshot Text

Blam! Blam! Blam! Shoot down the gangsters in Dick Tracy.