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Ocean Software Ltd
Arcade: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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Andy Smith
Chris Bourne

Part man, part machine, all Ocean.

It's not often the launch of a new computer game coincides with the launch of a new coin-op machine. But that's what has happened this month with Robocop. Data East have just produced the coin-op machine (see Future Cops in the Arcades Section this issue), and now Ocean are poised to launch the computer game.

Obviously, both versions have their roots in the film, but Ocean - having seen early versions of the Data East game - had a choice. They could either do a straight coin-op conversion, or leave the coin-op alone completely and concentrate on turning the film plot into a playable game - something they had done previously with Platoon. In the end they decided to combine the two.

The game breaks down into nine main sections, each section based on sequences from the film. The first stage has the player controlling Robocop as he goes about his daily business of serving the public trust, i.e. shooting baddies. This horizontally-scrolling part of the game is heavily inspired by the coin-op. Baddies appear on street level and from first floor windows and most of them are armed with pistols or chainsaws.

You have to shoot the baddies (each baddy takes at least two shots before he dies) while avoiding their shots. To make life easier there are four types of extra weapon to pick up including three-way shots and super shots that allow you to take baddies out with one shot. The Manta Gun that is used at the end of the film also makes an appearance towards the end of the game.

You have a limited supply of energy, and every time you take a hit the meter drops a little. Fortunately, extra energy capsules can be collected, but allow the energy to drop too much and you lose one of the initial three lives. Other parts of the game include a target-shooting sequence where the player has to shoot a baddy who is holding a woman hostage - hit the woman and your health meter suffers severely (Directive Number Two: Protect the Innocent). There is also a photo-fit ID sequence with 40 seconds available to match up pieces of a face and build up an Identikit picture for the face shown on screen. Finally, there are shoot-em-up sequences in the drugs factory and the junk yard.

Combining elements from the coin-op with the Ocean interpretation of the film has worked well. There's plenty of shoot-em-up action, and the other sequences capture the feel and flavour of the film.

Reviewer: Andy Smith

Atari ST, £19.95dk, Imminent
Amiga, £19.95dk, Imminent
Spectrum, £8.95cs, £14.95dk,Out Now
Amstrad, £9.95cs, £14.95dk, Imminent
C64/128, £9.95cs, £14.95dk, Imminent
IBM PC, Under development

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 85/100
1 hour: 88/100
1 day: 90/100
1 week: 75/100
1 month: 50/100
1 year: 0/100

Varied and entertaining with plenty to keep you going.


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The graphics are great and the music and digitised speech on the 128K version are very mood-setting. It's fun to play and, though the first few stages are a little easy, the game is tough enough to keep you playing. 48K owners will have to multi-load the game and miss out on all that speech and music, which is a shame.

Screenshot Text

Robocop slugs it out with a chainsaw wielding maniac in Stage One.

Shoot the bad guy, but mind the girl. Remember Directive Number Two.

The photo-fit section. Match the face on the right to the one on the left.

In the drugs factory. There's an extra weapon directly above Robocop - if he can get to it...