Gangsters Review | Personal Computer News - Everygamegoing

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Gangsters
By P. Boulton
Spectrum 48K

 
Published in Personal Computer News #046

The Boys Are Back

This strategy game based on the prohibition days in 1920's America casts you in the sort of role formerly played by James Cagney or Edward G. Robinson.

Objectives

For a change you're not required to take over the world, merely a city, Spectral City, and you do it by hook or, more likely, by crook.

The game sets you against four rival gangs with nine levels of difficulty.

In Play

You know when this tape stops loading, as there's a loud rat-tat-tat and the screen is spattered with bullets. This sets the tone. You're first shown a grid map of the city, then a table showing the respective strengths of all five gangs with regard to cash in the bank and the numbers of distilleries, speakeasies, brothels and casinos owned ... a very degenerate game. You can buy more assets, or hire more gangsters, then state your 'Protection factor'. The higher this is then the safer you are, but this takes protection away from your assets.

Stage two is 'The Thorny Question of Bribes'. The more you pay the less likely you are to be arrested. Here you can also try shopping one of your rivals to the police, but if they're then found innocent in Court you'll be in trouble. Next stage gives you the chance to raid one of your rivals' assets, and you'll also be given some indication of their secret armoury's whereabouts. Finding it could put one of the other gangs out of business.

You can also do this in 'Murder Mode'. You take out a contract on one of the gang's leaders, if you have enough in the bank to hire a rather expensive killer, such as Wild Pete Garuchi or Bugsy Spitoone. This is one of the sections of the game which has a little graphics, though I'm sure even the programmer would agree that they're not going to win any prizes. If your contract is successful you may then be able to take over the other gang's assets, after being given a message like 'Congratulations! Morale in Gang 4 has reached zero.'

The final stage is a monthly summary of your activities, with a very business-like income and expenditure account and a chance to read your intelligence report on what the others are up to by way of recruitment or buying up casinos. Then it's February 1920 and you're back to stage one again, till you either get to be top dog or bumped off in the process.

Verdict

Buy it or CCS will undoubtedly be sending the boys round.

Mike Gerrard

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