Friday, July 29, 2016

Chicago 90

Everyone played cops and robbers as a kid and now that we're grown-ups (aka BIG kids) we can do the same all over again using our favourite retro computer. This is all thanks to Microïds and their 1989 hit, Chicago 90 where we can play as the good guys or bad guys.

As a cop, it's our job to do the chasing but I didn't really click with this game type. However, I always prefer to be a bad guy which is much better and I love having a car full of swag whilst rushing to flee the city limits for my freedom! The controls feel a little flaky, at first, but you will soon be rip-roaring around Chicago in no time. Sadly, collision detection is often suspect and the car oddly bounces during a bump when going too fast. The cops are a little simple with naive AI that isn't exactly Einstein level but good enough to give you a good chase. If caught, you're presented with a rather dodgy looking image of the scene... I shall say no more about this lol.

Initially, the in-game user interface is rather complex, especially if you choose to be the police. Down the left are many icons, most of which I have no idea about! Along the bottom of the screen are two windows - the first an overhead city map which displays the location of the fuzz and the other a first-person view, from inside your car, which should help avoid crashing into the law abiding citizens! Chicago 90's downfall is its weak Police role which I personally found cumbersome and rather boring. So that left me with the gangster role which is great fun and driving through the city, avoiding cars and running from the cops, is surely an early glimpse into an early GTA experience?

With a little more thought for gameplay objectives, this could easily have been a fantastic venture into a life of crime. As it happens, we're stuck in the Chicago maze frantically looking for our escape. It's far from perfect but running from the cops is always going to be a thrill and I really enjoyed this Chicago 90 so much I bought it!

LINKS

 - 8bitchip have the hard drive installable game with Old Games Finder. supplying the floppies.
 - Atari Greenlog has a cool gameplay video.