Diary of a Game
Dick Tracy Zzap Review
• Empire, £10.99 cassette, £15.99 disk; Amiga £24.99
Warren Beatty's extravagant film version of the comic strip legend featured Madonna, Al Pacino and some spectacular cinematography. Unfortunately however good Tracy looked, the plot was a bit limp — a basic 'bad guys trying to take over New York' effort.
The computer game represents the bit in the film where Tracy's sweetheart, Tess Trueheart, has been kidnapped and Dick comes to the rescue. The action takes the form of a flickscreen shoot'em-up with five levels of a dozen or so screens each. Initially unarmed Tracy can pick up guns and grenades from hoods who he punches to the ground. As the game progresses the hoods get sneakier, sniping from windows and throwing petrol bombs from speeding cars.
Look, I know this is meant to be a period piece, but did that have to extend to prehistoric programming?! It's not just bad, it's astonishingly bad. Both versions suffer from feature-length multiloads and pathetic gameplay: keep running along, shooting any baddies in your way. The Amiga game is ridiculously easy: even me end-of-level gangsters are total wimps — just shoot at them for a couple of seconds and they surrender! It also features an ear-wrenching soundtrack and primitive animation. On the C64 the backdrops are deadly dull and the sprites are so blocky it looks like the villains have already been set in concrete!
Tracy is an even worse game than film, with incredibly simplistic gameplay consisting simply of walking right and shooting the baddies. The execution of this idea is abominable with flickscreen scrolling on both versions and some very poor animation. The C64 suffers atrocious graphics, but all the Amiga's fancy presentation screens just mean its multiloading is almost as irritating as the C64. Warren should sue.
If you have any idea what should go in this box, please let me know! :)