Judge Dredd
By Melbourne House
Commodore 64/128

Published in Computer & Video Games #63

Judge Dredd

Hey punks, listen up. 'Cos here comes the judge! It's the mean and mysterious crimebuster from Mega City, Judge Dredd himself. He's come to sort out the wallies from the street warriors in this, his first starring role in a computer game.

Will JD make other games quake in their cassette boxes? Or will Melbourne House be judged and found guilty of turning our cult comic hero into a wimp?

Well, I reckon the Wizards from Oz might just get away with a suspended sentence. Dredd is prime material for a great game. This long awaited first offering featuring the main man of 2000AD comic isn't great. But it isn't bad either.

Judge Dredd

It's one of those in-between games that reviewers try hard to like because there's nothing really wrong with it.

JD kicks off well with a brilliant loading screen depicting the Judge himself complete with smoking Lawgiver.

Then you see the crime display screen which is a map of Mega City with little windows popping up all over it depicting various crimes taking place crimes like kidnapping, alien seed deals, stookie glanding and simple old armed robbery.

Judge Dredd

You move the icon of Dredd's powerful Lawmaster bike over one of those windows, hit the firebutton, and you find yourself on foot in the crime-ridden city streets.

And yes, it's good old ladders and ramps again, folks, Fast ladders and ramps with nice graphics - but L&R none the less.

Dredd races about the multilevel city streets attempting to wipe out crime.

Judge Dredd

He has to keep an eye on the messages coming in from Judge HQ, because if he allows the crime rate in his sector to rise above eight he'll have to throw in his badge.

It's hard to tell who are the perps and who are innocent citizens of the city that never sleeps - so JD can't go around blasting everything in sight.

Fortunately you can tell Dredd to simply shout HALT! at the criminals he comes across. That would be enough for most people but Perps never learn, do they?

Judge Dredd

The graphics are big and colourful - Dredd is animated effectively, although he does look a bit cutesy for my taste. The game moves fluidly from screen to screen and there are some nice touches.

Judge Dredd doesn't really capture the spirit of the comic character and I reckon there's still a great Dredd game waiting to be created.

Gripes? Well, the objective of the game isn't clearly defined enough when you're playing. But if you don't worry too much about it and sit back and enjoy the colourful screens while racking up a hi-score you'll have a good time.

If you're a Dredd fan and think you'd enjoy a touch of L&R combined with an element of shoot'em up then you won't be wasting your money. Better still, put JD on your Christmas wish list and wave it in front of your mum and Dad.