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Arcade: Adventure
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Linda Barker
Chris Bourne

"Things'll be great when we're downtown." Hmm. A bit of a false impression that. This Downtown is nothing to do with bright lights and fun-filled evenings at all. No way, Jose! Instead it's where all the bad guys hang around on street corners with Tommy guns and bottles of rye (in brown paper bags, of course).

We're in the scummiest area of NYC and you're a rock-hard cop. Trouble is, there's an even rock-harder gangster called Marlon Raffia strutting the mean streets too. You've got 48 hours to assemble the evidence and put him behind bars. Four witnesses (who've been trussed up in various buildings and sewers by Marlon's gang) each know the whereabouts of a bit of a tatty old photo - free them, piece the snapshot together, run Marlon down to the station and you've sussed it.

Hold the celery!
Games are a lot like pizzas - you've got the basic dough (in this case a horizontally-scrolling shoot-'em-up), then you've got the topping which is loads of things added on to make it more tasty (or something). Here, the chunks of pepperoni (She's flipped! Ed) are various rooms and buildings that you can enter from the street. These are the platformy parts so you have to go up and down in lifts, jump over lots of packing cases and kill oodles of incredibly hairy men.

Of course there's always something on a pizza which you have to pick off (like celery). It's all very well climbing into sewers at various points along the street, but more often than not you end up failing in accidentally and getting really annoyed cos it's ages back to the next ladder up. Also, your little cop is quite difficult to manoeuvre around the platform bits. He often refuses to land on things, or jumps straight over them. It's sooo frustrating!

The graphics are clear, the sprites are lively and it's a competent game. It's just not that incredibly exciting - I found myself falling asleep at the scrolling bit and only really woke up when I got into a room. Nope, Downtown's a touch too easy for my liking and full of too many irritations (the poor Spec came in for a bit of a bashing!). I had some fun, but then again I didn't have to pay for it.

Rather simple split-screen cop shoot-'em-up with reasonably interesting platformy bits.


Screenshot Text

Here's our cop bouncing around looking for a witness. Nice sunset, eh, Spec-chums?