Ever wanted to mess around with biological experiments and maybe even create your own X-Men? Mark "Colossus" Caswell speaks to Dr. K, evil genius and creator of an unstoppable, genetically mutated army.
Some people are in possession of most excellent names (Mark Caswell, Mark Kendrick, Phil King and anyone named Melissa...), while some sad people are less fortunate (Ian Osborne, Steve Shields and Quasimodo). But spare a thought for Andy Attacker and Ben Breaker (snigger), the crappily named heroes of Crack Down. The unscrupulous Dr K is building a race of super soldiers (a la Captain America), and is planning to take over the world. But standing in his way are the dynamic duo Andy and Benny (no, not the thick sod who used to be in Crossroads).
Our heroes have to rampage through sixteen levels (floors) of Dr. K's secret hide-out (though it's not very secret if they found it), and plant at least three sets of explosives on each level. The game is viewed from above, with the screen split into two sections (one per player). The programmers have been very generous, 'coz just so that Andy and Benny know where to bung the explosives an 'X' marks the spot. A word of warning is in order here, though you're only given a couple of minutes to plant the explosives and leg it.
There are plenty of Dr. K's goons around to kill and, despite their ludicrous names, the ladz carry enough ordnance to supply a small South American country. They start with rocket launchers, but when ammo is exhausted on these they move onto machine guns. And just in case the unthinkable happens and the guns run dry, the boyz know a number of unarmed combat moves that'll make a few eyes water.
But don't start panicking just yet, because extra ammo crates are scattered around. And you certainly need 'em to combat the multitudinous hordes, along with extra pitfalls on later levels. There include lava puzzles, poisonous rivers, swinging demolition balls and various nasty traps.
Crack Down in the arcades is one of my all-time fave games, and when the C64 version appeared in the April 1990 issue, it received a warm welcome. Mainly because of the smooth scrolling, fast paced action and two-player option. Believe me, you certainly need two players on later levels 'coz Dr K's minions take their jobs seriously. The graphics are on par with the gameplay, the small sprites leap around and kick ass wonderfully. Also the backgrounds are colourful and full of detail.
I'm sorry but I just have to go and play the game again. If you missed Crack Down first time around, kick yourself very hard and buy it this instant.