Judge Dredd
By Melbourne House
Commodore 64

Published in Zzap #22

Judge Dredd

In a huge MegaCity of the future where crime runs rampant, there patrols an elite force of law enforcers known as the Judges. Each Judge patrols a part of the city and is responsible for cracking down on crime in that area. The player takes the role of the city's top officer - Judge Dredd. He has to carry out law-enforcing duties and keep crime levels to a minimum - failure to do so results in his expulsion from the force.

The action begins with the appearance of a map of Dredd's beat, as shown on the control panel of his Lawmaster motorbike. Crimes are reported and appear as boxes on the display. Moving a cursor onto a box and pressing the fire button takes Dredd to the vicinity of the crime.

The city is divided into sections, displayed as platform screens filled with innocent bystanders - and occasionally perps (criminals). As Dredd moves from location to location, the screens 'flick'. Sometimes a screen is filled with marauding robo-dogs or renegade spy satellites which attack Dredd on sight, depleting his energy. If Dredd's energy loss is absolute, his current investigation is aborted and the screen returns to the Lawmaster display.

Judge Dredd

Dredd has to explore the screens in search of perps by running along and jumping from walkway to walkway, or by using the lifts to take him down to the more inaccessible screens. Central control informs Dredd of the whereabouts of the perp in question, and using this information he can track down the violator. On sighting a perp, Dredd can either fire a warning shot or ask him to halt. If neither technique has any effect, Dredd has to take more drastic action and shoot to kill. His Lawgiver pistol fires six different types of ammunition: normal, armour piercing, incendiary, ricochet, high explosive and heat-seeking - the latter five being limited in their supply.

When the perp is 'removed', the screen returns to the Lawmaster display, allowing Dredd to investigate the scene of another crime. If, at any time, the level of crime in Dredd's sector rises above eight crimes, he is removed from duty and the game ends.


Melbourne House have wasted a potentially outstanding concept by producing a bland and very tedious platform game cum shoot-'em-up. I am not impressed in the slightest.

Judge Dredd

The graphics and sound are completely unrepresentative of the character and situations featured in 2000AD - and so is the game itself. I was thoroughly disgusted and bored with the whole thing after a few plays. Subsequent plays led to extreme revulsion. Judge Dredd is quite simply the worst licensed game I've ever seen on the C64 - a heavily sarcastic "well done" to Melbourne House.


I've always thought there was immense potential for an official Judge Dredd computer game, what with the fantastic stories, powerful characters and fabulous backdrop of MegaCity One. Obviously Melbourne House don't agree because they've produced a travesty - a complete load of bull which fails on all counts to capture the atmosphere of the character.

The gameplay is appalling, especially when you consider all the different aspect of MegaCity One life which could have been combined to produce a superb game.

Judge Dredd

No imagination has been used in this - it's just simple and immensely repetitive chasing action, set across a series of very similar backdrops. The graphics are absolutely terrible: MegaCity One is a garish mess, where the laws of perspective have no meaning and the sprites are badly animated.

The characters lack definition and detail, and Judge Dredd doesn't even look remotely like the comic character which he is supposed to represent - he's been reduced to a trite group of pixels which leap about a series of crude platform screens like a demented kangaroo.

There aren't any spot effects and the soundtrack that plays throughout is annoying to the extent that it's essential to turn it off before your eardrums pack their bags and leave.

Judge Dredd

It's a real shame to see a licence with so much potential being totally wasted - but it has, and there's nothing anyone can do. Apart from not buy the game, that is.


I'm immensely disappointed with this - Judge Dredd is such a versatile character and I'm shocked that he hasn't been implemented in a more exciting and involved game.

The graphics are a bit on the naff side - some of the 2000AD artists should have been drafted in just to make things that little bit more authentic.

Judge Dredd

The characters are badly drawn and some of their poses are very iffy (Dredd isn't usually camp, so why have him standing with his hand on his hip?!). I honestly doubt that this will appeal to even the most die-hard Dredd fan.


Presentation 69% Atmospheric but somewhat confusing instructions. Reasonable in-game presentation.

Graphics 30% Gaudy, garish backdrops and badly defined and animated sprites.

Judge Dredd

Sound 37% An annoying tune plays throughout.

Hookability 21% Offers little in the way of enjoyment or satisfaction.

Lastability 14% Unoriginal and unrewarding gameplay leads to complete dis-satisfaction.

Value For Money 8% Grossly overpriced for such a simple, boring platform game.

Overall 13% An immense disappointment considering the massive potential of the character.