COLLECTING MAIL IS JUST A START
DODGE CITY is made up of two games, an arcade and an adventure which are supplied on different cassettes. The player's aim in the arcade game is to elude pursuers, dodge cacti and collect the mail. Six successful mail collections completes a skill level and 12 skill levels must be completed before the adventure game can be played.
At the end of alternate skill levels the player arrives to find that a telegram containing a clue for the adventure has been delivered. They appear and disappear slightly too quickly to be noted at the time but the game is so difficult that frequent re-starts will mean that most players will have memorised the clues by the time they reach level 12.
Various groupings of Indians, Mexicans and Confederate soldiers appear chasing the player during the game. Moving to the correct part of the screen at the proper time means that they can be shaken off quickly, although finding the proper place and the correct time can take hours.
An infuriating feature is that the mail collector can be shot at any time, even when no bullets have been seen to fly, or the pursuer behind is dead, or even when there is no visible pursuer behind. Another problem for the player is that Confederate soldiers seem to have nine lives, possibly because there are two of them on each horse.
Once the twelfth level has been reached and the player arrives in Dodge City the adventure begins. The sheriff's deputy is dead and what better suspect could the sheriff have than the mail rider who just arrived in town?
Dodge City is produced by Phoenix Software Ltd, Spangles House, 116 Marsh Road, Pinner, Middlesex.