PIZZA DA ACTION
IN THE DAYS of lead overcoats and concrete boots, when bootleg liquor cost blood and Bogart ruled the Bronx, there was one gangster whose exploits have until now remained obscure. His name was Mugsy.
In Mugsy, the new release from Melbourne House, you play the part of a gangland leader. The game requires you to make decisions as to how much money to extort from your protection rackets, what to set aside for bribery and how much to spend on arms for your underlings.
Thus far the game is a moderately simple version of King, the land management game. Melbourne House has taken the concept and, by the use of extravagantly marvellous graphics, turned it into a minor masterpiece.
Each decision you make is portrayed in cartoon form, with the words in speech bubbles; a respectably large number of screens complement the story, in the style of old gangster movies. The pictures look to have been designed by a genuine artist and add immensely to the atmosphere of the game. At the end of each 'year' you also have an animated cartoon of an event during that year. There are only two of those short films but both are interesting to watch and they use the Spectrum graphics capacity to the full.
With so much visual display, the game must suffer from memory restrictions and there is not a great deal of variety in what happens from year to year compared to programs like Dictator by dK'Tronics. That said, Melbourne House has captured the atmosphere of old Hollywood movies so well that one tends to forget the limitations of the game and enter into the spirit happily.
Inevitably the graphics will tend to become uninteresting after they have been seen enough times but while they remain fresh they are a delight and make the game a pleasure to play.