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Domark Ltd
Arcade: Vehicle Combat
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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Chris Bourne

Domark, £14.99, Atari ST, version reviewed Issue 25, Ace Rating 762

APB was one of those arcade games that, while it was far from advanced on the graphics and sound front, scored highly in the playability stakes. Colourful, cartoon style sprites and easily mastered gameplay gave it an appeal lacking in many more sophisticated machines. It casts you as officer Bob, a hard-working highway patrol-man trying to keep up with his daily quota of arrests. While screeching round the streets in your car arresting minor offenders, you may also have to follow up an All Points Bulletin for the arrest of a major criminal. Once you have him, it's back to the station to squeeze out a confession.

When this latest Tengen conversion appeared on the Atari ST it looked fine. The programmers had managed to capture the same amusing cartoon qualities of the original coin-op. The Spectrum version suffers seriously because of the loss of this aspect. While the sprites are all well drawn and animated, the monochrome green display looks dull and manages to make the game appear lifeless and uninteresting.

This version is still highly playable however, and if you are a Spectrum owner who liked the arcade original then you can probably live with the inadequate graphics. I can't see it keeping anybody's interest for long though.