Hrumph... I don't quite know what to say about this one. Every so often every adventure reviewer worth his rod and staff sits down and asks himself, "Is this game really as awful as I think it is? Or am I simply unable to appreciate its sterling qualities?" Playing Dodgy Geezers brought on one of these attacks of conscience, which I deal with as follows...
'Tis a load of bunkum, fellow Pilgs. 'Tis not worth the money. 'Tis truly a dodgy game. And 'tis a long way short of anything I'd expect from a well-established company like Melbourne House.
Let's face it - only a few months ago, Melbourne House was at the top of the adventurer's league - or near it. The Hobbit (say what you like about it) is without doubt a classic - even its bugs have become legends in their own lifetimes. Sherlock was, well, a magnificent attempt. Lord Of The Rings was, well, magnificently flawed. Terrormolinos was good for a laugh. Castle of Terror was, if not terrifying, at least competent. Hampstead had some people in fits...
...And now Dodgy Geezers. If anything's wrong with this game it's its sheer, unutterable, averageness. There's nothing remarkable about it - either in the good or awful sense. There don't appear to be any bugs, it's just rather uninspiring.
Your role, as a recently-released-from-prison Dodgy Geezer is to team up with some dodgy chums and engage in some dodgy enterprises. There are occasional graphics in the game, mostly of your colleagues, who are displayed together with their criminal records. Input is very limited - mainly to two-word verb-noub structures.
The passage of time is indicated by messages like "It is Friday night", etc. You can spend the night in any location, however unlikely (I spent it in the training room at the gym on at least one occasion!). The importance of time is mainly to do with certain events connected with your life of crime (in particular the arrival of shipments, dogs and bullion trucks) and is about the only successful feature of the program - even if a little limited.
Interaction with other characters is extremely limited - and is mostly a question of being in the right place at the right time; whereupon, if you fulfil certain conditions, they will give you tips or otherwise assist - or assassinate - you.
Dodgy Geezers boasts a certain mild humour of the kind associated with Minder, East End accents, and dropped 'aitches. Examining most objects gets you the reply "Can't see nuffink much" and, if you try to follow someone, you're told, "He's a slippery geeze - I lost him." In fact you get told this even if there's no one to follow in the first place!
So - no serious bugs, no big surprises, no enormous disappointments - just another game ... yawn ... zzzzzz....
And so I drop gently off to sleep, dreaming of a new mega-game from Melbourne House... If only this were it... but it isn't.