Infogrames
Pennsoft
1987
Arcade: Action
£9.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

31
Ben Stone, Nick Roberts, Robin Candy
Chris Bourne

Swamped by gangland crime, the New York Police Department hires a mercenary to rub out the city's contract killers. But they won't be no pushover.

Killers appear on the streets, at windows and on the apartment block roofs of a decaying downtown zone. An arrow at the bottom of the screen shows which way the mercenary you control must move to find your next target, but doesn't give the killer's vertical position.

Once the hoodlum has been found, you can get him in your sights. A killer must be hit within three seconds after an onscreen countdown begins. And when killers lurk in difficult positions extra time is given to blast them.

But if the baddie isn't shot before the deadline, you get it instead and lose one of your three fives. At higher levels the hoodlums become faster in their reactions.

And killers never come quietly - they return fire if given half a chance. Enemy bullets can be dodged, giving you an extra three seconds of grace - but such evasive action can't be kept up forever. A bar indicator shows remaining dodge time.

Still, you're paid good greenbacks for each contract successfully completed.

Some despicable killers hold hostages, so great accuracy is essential if you're not to plug an innocent victim.

Now get out on those mean streets...

CRITICISM

'Infuriating and slow it may be, but Prohibition isn't bad; I was absorbed by my first play. But when things begin to get a little hot under the collar, the gameplay falls apart - your cross hairs jump when a shot is fired, so accurate shooting (not easy to begin with) becomes impossible. Graphically it could have been much better: the background is nicely drawn but it's spoiled by the horrible scrolling and badly-defined mobsters. And the sound is another major letdown. Prohibition is disappointing - implemented properly it could have been brilliant.' BEN

'The police failed so it's -all down to you. Good luck - you'll need it! Prohibition has some of the best graphics I've seen on the Spectrum for a long, long time, but the lack of colour and sound are a pity. Infogrames have a real winner here - if only there were a little tune at the start...' NICK

'Other than the gangster theme, there's no tie-in between this game and real Prohibition (the US ban on alcohol in the Twenties), which is slightly misleading. The title suggests images of fast shoot-outs and smuggling operations but the real thing is tedious. It consists only of shooting and dodging - and though it's very easy to get into, there's no challenge or depth to Prohibition. And the monochromatic graphics aren't as highly detailed as in other games that use this technique.' ROBIN

COMMENTS
Control keys: Q up, S down, O left, P right. SPACE to fire, ENTER to dodge, number keys to pause
Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Use of colour: monochromatic
Graphics: excellent, despite slightly jerky scrolling
Sound: limited to gunshots
Skill levels: progressive
Screens: scrolling play area
General Rating: A straightforward shoot-'em-up with an original scenario which could have led to a great game.

58%
71%
58%
54%
59%

Screenshot Text

Ruthless gangsters lurk in the alleys of New York.

Now the hunters are the hunted...

You've got the concrete jungle in your sights in Prohibition.