Amstrad Computer User

By Ocean
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Computer User #20


"Listen kid, stick wid me and I'll get ya into the movies".
"Gee whizz mister, can I be a gangster?"
"Sure kid, but first ya gotta be a pot plant."

Movie is an arcade adventure from Imagine Software in which you must. guide Jack Marlow, a private eye, around the headquarters of a mob of gangsters. Jack must locate a tape recording, held inside the office of "Bugs" Malloy and return to his office to play it. back. The gangsters' office is heavily guarded and Marlow must seek help to find his way there. There are items dotted around the complex that can help him on his way and these can be picked up, moved around and used.

The game starts in Marlow's office populated by filing cabinets, desks, chairs, pot plants, a tape recorder and Marlow himself. You move the detective around by using the joystick. There are two methods of movement you can select rotate left and right and move in the direction of the joystick. Pressing the fire button changes from moving Marlow to moving an icon cursor at the bottom of the screen. Using this, you can select an option. There are options to pick up objects, put down objects, select a different object, shoot - if the gun is in your possession and selected - walk, talk, punch, throw an object, pause the game and quit.


Using the walk option you can freely move around the complex. The various screens are drawn in 3D, corner on, similar in style to an Ultimate game. Each room you enter is furnished with a number of items, some movable, others removable with the remainder immovable. [Cut the poetry - Ed]. Among the radios, stuffed animal heads, clocks and armchairs you will find useful objects like the pistol. As well as pot plants you'll meet. heavies. These can be talked to, punched or shot. You will also meet Tanya or Tanya, a pair of identical twins - one good the other evil - who will either help you or introduce you to the benefits of precast footwear. Tanya is the key to the whole game as, without her help, you won't make it to Bugs' office.

There are various tests and puzzles to be solved in the game. In fact it will take you many hours to map it and get to the end. All I can say is good luck!


A different sort of arcade adventure, this. The 3D corner-on approach is one of my least favourite because it makes a game so difficult to control. Luckily this game doesn't have a very fast pace, making speed of reactions less critical.


I enjoyed some of the problems to solve, but overall I am not very keen on Movie. Games need a bit of sparkle and excitement to grab your attention and Movie seems a trifle dull in this respect. Certainly an original game with some nice features - talking to the characters, throwing objects, for instance - but not my cup of tea.


There's going to come a day when everyone gets absolutely pig sick of the Knight Lore-style 3D game but I still remain a great fan of the idea.

Casting the main character of an arcade adventure as a Marlow-type of forties sleuth/gangster also seems like quite a good idea. I don't know, then, why I didn't find Movie particularly interesting.


The speed at which your rain-coated character moves does tend to take something away from the action. Also, the inability to both move and retain the option to pick things up also makes control a bit trickier than it need have been. When I first played the game I thought: "Icons - great. I won't need to read the instructions. It will all be plain sailing from here". Wrong again, maestro. Without reading the instructions, I would never have guessed what half the icons were used for, which rather defeats the whole point of using them in the first place.

Having said all that, I still think the game is worth looking at especially if you haven't already got a cupboard full of Knight Lore lookalikes.


Imagine has produced some of the best Amstrad software around, like Yie Ar Kung-Fu and Ping Pong but Movie does not break any new ground. What it does do is take a whole load of existing techniques and refine them. I have to admit to not getting very far in finding the missing tape but was enchanted by the characters in the game.

Some of the colours are a bit murky although the Mode 1 graphics are very good. Perhaps using three shades of the same colour would have helped the black and white feel of the game. The people within the game are very well animated but this means they move slowly (perhaps the projector needs winding). Objects which can be picked up are very few and far between.

The keyboard response when talking is very slow - and how come characters talking to you can punctuate properly and you are only allowed a full stop? In a leaner month Movie would have been something special but when there are games like Tomahawk, Turbo Esprit, Bomb Jack and Equinox about, Movie becomes just another good game.