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PSS
Chris P. Cullen
1984
Arcade: Adventure
£6.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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107
Chris Bourne

It was probably inevitable that at some time or other the Pink feline thingummybob with a tail and a penchant for stealing diamonds would appear in a computer game. Les Flics isn't someone's name of course but a bit of French slang for the police, and in fine Peter Sellers style French, the inlay explains the situation. This is an arcade game with adventurish overtones, or rather it's several arcade games in one.

The first screen shows a plan of a city centre with a maze of tree-lined roads connecting nine buildings, their doors indicated in red. You appear as the Pink Thing with a tail on a road low down the screen. As soon as you start to move, two police cars appear on the streets, zipping about, but generally homing in on you. The idea is to enter the buildings and pick up useful objects, which will enable you to find and steal the blue diamond.

The interiors of all the buildings are designed as platform games with five levels and holes in the floors. Levels are connected by staircases, up or down lifts and firemen's poles. The buildings are littered with all sorts of things including daggers, a bag, a spanner, knives and forks, a key, money bags, beard disguise, masks and of course the famous diamond. There are some other odd things like heavy weights and poles. These can be moved around and weights, if dropped through a hole, will fall and squash the chasers on the floor below.

There are food 'pods ' dotted around and passing over them when in possession of the knife and fork will replenish your rapidly depleted energy levels. Numerous doors in buildings may be entered and exited from if in possession of the key. The chasers include Gendarmerie Kaolin (disguised as a chef), and of course Cleudeau - famous idiot detective.

The main task in this novel game is to collect things which will allow you to do the right things in other buildings, while remaining free of pursuit. Disguises help in some cases, the dagger will help in others. And all the while, the police cars are waiting outside .. .

CRITICISM

'At first, this game looked quite primitive with its block graphics, but once inside a building this all changes to good, detailed, colourful and well-animated characters. Finding the gemstone is fairly easy but getting it is difficult. With only a set number of buildings, I wonder how long its good playability and addictivity will last.'

'Unless the copy I was given had lost an extra set of instructions inside the larger plastic cassette case, Les Flies has a massive oversight. Nowhere does it tell you how to play the game or what the controls are. Of course, half the fun here is in finding out what does what and when it does it, but some control keys would have been nice. Trial and error proved them to be the cursors, rather a drawback in a game of this speed. Apart from this quibble, Les Flics is a great deal of fun, original, and combines several ideas in one game. The graphics are large and smoothly moving, amusing things happen, the lifts work very nicely, and there are enough adventure elements to make it all playable and addictive.'

'It can get to be extremely frustrating when you have got a key, a bag, money, you're well fed and everything, and the diamond is around the next corner, to run into a police car through inept maze dodging! Les Flics got me real mad - so it must be a pretty good game. Initial impression of simple graphics quickly gives way to the smooth, fast and large ones of the building interiors. One of the nice touches is the incompetence of Inspector Cleudeau, who will often come along and knock a Flic unconscious for you, just before the cop was about to nick you. I thought this was fun and really addictive.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: cursors plus 0 to collect items and in combination with direction keys will operate lifts, poles, etc
Joystick: Kempston, Protek, AGF
Keyboard play: pity about the cursors, but responsive
Use of colour: good and varied
Graphics: very good
Sound: good, but the tune between lives gets irritating - an interupt key might have been useful
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 3
Screens: 11
Originality: very high in content and style
General Rating: Very good.

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Screenshot Text

Inside, the places resemble plush gymnasiums - you're the pink thng with a tail.

Small graphics belie a lot of larger activity inside the buildings, while outside Les Flics patrol.