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Ocean Software Ltd
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

Other Links

Pete Shaw
Chris Bourne

Way back in the September issue of YS, roving (raving?) reporter Tommy Nash dug the dirt in Florida and brought us the low-down on this game in his mega preview. Strangely enough for YS, most of what he said was correct, which doesn't exactly leave me a lot to say.

For the benefit of those who missed Tom's pearls, the plot is based roughly around the exploits of one Mr 'J', an old-time gangster who's smartened up his image and gained some influential friends. Mr 'J' has got himself involved in a $1M contraband deal which is due to hit town on Thursday morning. Well, the play starts at midnight on Sunday and your only clues come from the dealers in the various bars and hotels around the city who need to be squeezed ever-so-gently at gunpoint. If you can get enough information together without being shot, smashed up or caught without a decent tailor then you must find Mr 'J' before midday Thursday and bust the contraband operation.

Most of the action happens on the road, and being close to the original TV series you'll notice that your car doesn't tend to last more than two minutes at a time before it crashes into a fire hydrant, collides with another car or flies into the foyer of the Grand Metro Hotel. However, if you can manage to get to grips with the ins and outs of the driving game then you'll be able to progress to the 'Frankie goes to Florida' mode inside the buildings. Within the bars and flea pits of Miami you'll find those $10 wrap men who lead you to the bigger fish and better information. You can take the crooks in for questioning at City Hall if you want to pound info from a suspect while still on the road - the result of the interrogation is displayed at the bottom of the screen.

An all-important factor in this game is timing. Your captain has supplied you with a probable list of all Monday's meetings between the hoods of Florida. If you want to get the crook to flee, leaving the drugs behind, then you must arrive just as the meeting is scheduled to begin. If you want to disturb a meeting and pull the crook in for questioning then you have to arrive about five minutes after it's started. If you're after a little violence on the strees with the crook's car then turning up in the vicinity anything between eight and twelve minutes after the start could get you your goal.

The only complaint I can find with the whole game is the terrible attribute problems in Frankie mode. The whole picture goes to pieces simply by walking next to a vase of flowers. Other than that Miami Vice is everthing you could want in a game. Gratuitous violence, fast moving graphics and not too much of a plot to get in the way. Now that I've seen it I've been gripped by Miami Vice, and I've even made an appointment at the tailors!