1986
Arcade: Action
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

22
Chris Bourne

Sbugetti junction is a game of skill and judgement starring a put-upon traffic policeman. Louigi Pepperoni is a trainee traffic cop on loan from sunny Italy to find out how the British manage to have less accidents on their roads than their hot-blooded companions in Rome. Although Louigi has had quite a bit of training, his performance is still a bit shaky. Now in Britain to further his training, he's been turned loose on an unsuspecting public to direct the traffic in a busy street.

Louigi has to get large numbers of vehicles through certain junctions safely and without any unsightly pile-ups. If he manages to pass the tests set him, he can progress to the next junction and so on until he is a fully fledged traffic policeman who knows what he's doing. Once Louigi has achieved this status he can return home to Italy and become reunited with his voluptuous wife, Fettucinee.

Louigi directs the traffic by way of a number of hand signals which you control by pressing the relevant keys. Each section of traffic has to be properly co-ordinated and each vehicle sent where it's supposed to go. Miscalculation in this area causes large accidents and Louigi's life may also be in danger from a mis-directed car. It's not just the continentals who get hot under the collar and shout a lot when driving. According to Sbugetti Junction. the British can get quite stroppy too. If Louigi keeps the lines of cars waiting too long then he'll be in for a bit of aggro...

The game is played against the clock. Louigi has five minutes in which to complete each junction. If the cars are kept waiting then they start to beep him, and if they beep Louigi too much for too long them the game-a is-a prematurely-a terminated, or as we say in English, it's curtains for Louigi.

There are three levels to the game. Louigi can choose whether he wants to direct light, heavy, or if he's feeling particularly ambitious, rush hour traffic. Louigi is actually over in Britain to learn about our traffic rules, but if you feel like doing a bit of traffic controlling au continent, then there's a European option in the game where all the cars drive on the right hand side of the road.

Points are awarded for cars correctly navigated across the junctions with the current high Score shown below for you to try and beat. Please try to help Louigi control the traffic successfully so that he can return to the land of Pasta and motzerella, and be reunited with his estranged wife and his bambinos which he a-misses so-a much-a.

CRITICISM

'Hmmm. I'm not at all impressed with this one. One game was enough to tell me that it won't appeal to anyone. The graphics are shoddy and small, but some of them are nicely detailed. The use of colour is a little garish but there are only a few attribute problems. The game plays very slowly and it is hard to amass high scores on the lower levels so it gets very very monotonous after a short time. Controlling your man is not as easy as it could be - in fact for the first few goes it is almost Impossible. After a while it does get a little easier, though, as does the whole game. Even with its cheapo price tag I wouldn't recommend this game'

'Sbugetti Junction is great apart from one thing - the game. The loading screen is great and the inlay pictures look impressive, but the game is very boring and repetitive. I found that Sbugetti Junction consisted of two junctions; one easy and one impossible: this didn't help matters at all. The graphics are very neatly and clearly drawn but, due to them being all the same colour and the traffic controller being very small, none of them seem to really catch the eye. I also had some suspicions about the legality of the hand signals that the traffic would obey. Sbugetti Junction is certainly original, but whether you would come back to the game after a few months is very unlikely'

'If you've always wanted to be a traffic cop, then I reckon Sbugetti Junction will completely revert you. If this is a real portrayal of a traffic policeman's day, then I'm suprised that any still exist! This game is, in a word, boring. Even in the 'rush hour' mode, there is very little to keep the eyelids open, and even less to keep you playing. Despite reasonable graphics, a passable tune, and even an acceptable amount of playability, Sbugetti Junction is one game that I will certainly not be coming back to, because I know that within five minutes, I'll have switched it off.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: redefinable
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Interface 2
Keyboard play: no problems
Use of colour: simple
Graphics: nothing wonderful
Sound
Screens: two viewpoints - British and European
General Rating: An interesting idea, but an uncompelling game.

48%
41%
35%
44%
30%
35%
34%