Melbourne House
1986
Adventure: Text
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

87
Gary Rook
Chris Bourne

Dodgy Geezers is Melbourne House's latest adventure - and it's a bit of a let-down.

You begin in jail, locked up there for your part in the Great Spaghetti Caper. It's all right though because today's the day you get out. Having left Her Majesty's lodgings, you find yourself in a maze of dingy backstreets - you know, the sort of inner city blight that Prince Charles is always wanting people to renew.

Your objective, recounted in a variant of that debased thieves' can't that all TV scriptwriters seem to think is the national language of the East End of London, is to pull off the Big One. To achieve something with your life by committing a crime to remember. Oh, and incidentally, you wouldn't mind getting your revenge on the geezers wot stitched you up over the Spaghetti Caper, know what I mean John, nudge nudge, put a pony in your pocket, get the suitcase from the van...

Problem is. you're not told what that big caper is. You do know, though, that you're going to need the assistance of certain other gentlemen, George the muscle, Mr Video the computer genius, Cracker the safe blower, and others. Obviously, you have to have a way to recruit them somehow.

Plus there's this fella who hides in the shadows a lot - bit stupid really, as his spiffy white Gucci shoes do show up a bit. What's he want?

The game was written - probably should read scripted - by Peter Jones and Trevor Lever, who wrote Hampstead and Terrormolinos for Melbourne House. Both of those games showed wit, intelligence, a wicked sense of fun - call it what you like.

Dodgy Geezers doesn't. It's one of those irritating adventurers where you have to be in the right place at the right time to meet the right person who'll help you if you know the right things to say and are able to give him or her the right thing.

It also betrays its origins as a Quilled program: it may have been polished up by someone, but it still looks pretty Quilly to me.

The parser seems quite limited, although it's difficult to tell sometimes because of the way everything is done in a pseudo Cockney. The responses get a bit repetitive after a while. There is the usual problem of trying to work out just what combination of verb and noun will suffice in a particular situation - you find this a lot with Quilled programs.

If this had been the usual price for a Quilled game, then it would have been pretty decent - but as a full price program from a company like Melbourne House, it's pretty poor. And Lever and Jones can produce better stuff too - Hamstead was really excellent...

Label: Melbourne House
Author: Peter Jones and Trevor Lever
Price: £7.95
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: Gary Rook

**

Knock it on the head John: a really dodgy number. Disappointing effort from the makers of Hamstead.

2/5