Friday, July 29, 2016

Chicago 90

An isometric DRIVER?

Let's start by saying that every kid played cops and robbers and now that we're grown-ups (aka BIG kids) we can do the same again using our favourite retro computer. This is thanks to Microïds and their 1989 hit, Chicago 90 which allows us to drive around the streets as either the good or bad guys. Easy choice, I say? Yep...

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.

You could always be a good guy instead of running from the law? Yeah... that's what I thought!!

Read the flipping manual

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, and especially confusing 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 is an overhead city map which displays the location of the fuzz. The other is a first-person view (from inside your car) and should help avoid crashing into law-abiding citizens. Well, in theory!

Success!! We've finally found the way out of this urban jungle. Now, HIT IT!!

The CryptO'pinion?

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! Driving through the city, avoiding cars and running from the cops, is surely an early glimpse into an early GTA experience? It's pretty much fantastic and I've loved every second.

Overall, with a little thought for gameplay objectives, this could easily have been a fantastic venture into a life of crime. As it happens, we're just stuck in the Chicago maze frantically looking for an escape. However, racing away from the cops is always going to be a thrill and I enjoyed this a lot - so I ended up buying it. Excellent game!

Visit Chicago - Driver & GTA style!

8bitchip has a hard drive installable version
Old Games Finder has all the floppy disks!
Atari Greenlog now has a cool gameplay video.

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