Big K

By Melbourne House
Spectrum 48K

Published in Big K #8


Despite having been foisted upon us by a mob of spat-spittin' Rent-a-Cagneys, Melbourne House's controversial gangster fest has lain largely untouched by the dodgy denizens of the Big K office. Not surprising perhaps when you consider the astonishing inanity of this well-cloaked simulation.

As Mugsy, a two-bit hood in an eight-bit world, you must take control of the Chicago rackets. This is achieved largely by squeezing out rival gangs and oiling the paws of the local precinct. As you stash of cash grows your infamy spreads and Big Rocco and the boys move in on your operation, regardless of bribes.

If he fails once he'll quickly try again. He's certainly not thin-skinned. It's all exceptionally repetitive.

Only the presentation of Mugsy is of note. Cleverly crafted as a video comic, it features some extraordinary graphics and a nice line in dialogue, consequently the initial sense of atmosphere is superb. You can almost smell the aroma of mafiosa pasta as you wander along the wharf. Unfortunately prolonged play results in brain seizure. The game fails to live up to its early promise.

Perhaps Melbourne House can make amends with a more engrossing sequel? It would be a shame to let such visual flair go to waste.