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Prune Software
1988
Arcade: Action
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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62
Chris Bourne

Mobilising the Police force has always been a bit of a problem. First of all, no-one had discovered the wheel, so the prehistoric bobby had to move around on foot, which made it ever so difficult to get to the scene of a crime fast enough to stop the dastardly robbers from scarpering on their getaway Tyrannosaurus. Then, when man discovered that there's more you can do with a horse than eat it, there were never enough to go around.

Nowadays, the problem is that there just aren't enough cars for every flatfoot, so what alternative is left? Easy, the space-hopper. What's a space-hopper, the unfortunate few of you may ask. A space-hopper is a large balloon made of thick rubber, just ripe for sitting and bouncing on. I could never get the hand of the things and more often than not, I would bounce forward and the hopper wouldn't move, and then it would be 3 hours in surgery trying to put back that all important nose bone.

The copper of the title is the first one to try out the new idea, and for him it seems to work rather well. In fact he can get up to some pretty hair-raising speeds, which is just as well as he's going to need all the speed he can get to catch the dastardly four armed robbers that continually commit crimes throughout your patch.

Before I go on to describe the complexities of the game, I might as well tell you now that it isn't very good. In fact it's very bad. If I were you I'd stop reading now, as there's no point in going on and it makes my job a lot easier.

Still with me? Oh well, don't say I didn't warn you. The game is viewed as a horizontal scroller with the option to move in and out of the screen onto different paths, in much the same way as Tir Na Nog and Dun Darach. At the top of the screen, you have your radar which tells you the positions of the other roads, if any, and the positions of the robbers (if any on your path), rather like the radar in Labyrinth. At the bottom of the screen is your Police radio, which gives you news of robberies as they happen, up to a total of four.

On each level, each baddie will rob one shop. Your job is to bounce around there as soon as possible and apprehend each baddie by bouncing on them. The only problem I could find with this is that it's far too easy. More often than not, you can take out three of the robbers on one street without any hassle.

Another problem is the aesthetic side of the game. It's not very nice. The graphics, though recognisable and some quite nicely animated, still don't come up to anything that might be described as 'different'. Sound is terrible with shrill beeps and screams at various points of the game, even on a 48K model, which you can't turn off!

As for addictive qualities, this game looks at me, blinks stupidly and says, dur, wassat den? Any feelings of 'just one more go' weren't to be found anywhere. In fact, the feeling of 'I hope I die soon so that I don't have to play this shi'ite anymore' started creeping in.

You've probably guessed that I don't like this game very much. I can't recommend it to anyone apart from people who don't have a Spectrum and people who came up to me at the PC show and asked me where the Newsfield stand was.

Label: Silverbird
Author: Prune Software
Price: £1.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: ?

Badly scrolled, poorly designed excuse for a game that even YS wouldn't use as a cover game.

48%
35%
21%
40%
41%