Bugsy (CRL/St. Brides) Review | Zzap - Everygamegoing


Commodore 64/128

Published in Zzap #21


Bugsy is the latest in St Bride's long series of tongue in cheek adventure games. It puts you in the title role - the unlikely situation of a Rabbit with a bad Bronx accent who tries to take over the Chicago mobs and become Public Enemy Number One. If that isn't unlikely enough, our hero begins the adventure by dying. Magic is real alright, but the powers of rejuvenation demonstrated by the St Brides girls leave little to be desired.

Enough of this! The game is packaged in a medium format cassette case and is reasonably presented. It's "Quilled" with graphics taking up the top third of the screen. However, game appeal is heightened somewhat by a modification of the system that allows conversations to be carried out between yourself and various other characters. 'Speak to ... ' gives you access to a menu of vocal options, each obtainable by a single keypress. The options vary from sweet talking lines to outright threats. The ensuing conversations is displayed in the area below.

The process is limited of course, with no depth to the exchanges but at least you can do more than say 'Hello'. But the conversations do release the player from the all too familiar restrictions of the utility from time to time. Unfortunately, this feature - coupled with the 'death' routine - strives to make an otherwise average game something more. The game itself is always on the verge of becoming really good, but never quite makes it. And for the first time in quite a while, I think the faults can largely be blamed on The Quill itself.

The game begins in a small network of streets in downtown Chicago. Each street has at least one accessible location, the puzzle is to visit the right locations at the right time. That way money, hoods and other useful tools can be acquired in order to progress your career. Status is as important as anything else in a life of crime, so putting wealth and power to decadent use is also a vital part of the game. Being a rabbit does have its disadvantages though; not least of which is prejudice.

An atmospheric feature that serves the game well is the narrative. The whole of the adventure is described from Bugsy's point of view and in his accent. The result is a conversational and often funny style that clearly spells out the off-beat nature of the game. Otherwise the plot is very linear and appears to offer little to those who might want to stray from the main plotline for a while.

The game is multi-load format so there's likely to be an expanse I haven't yet seen. There don't appear to be any bugs worth mentioning either. Despite that, the game lacks something. Excitement. Funny, yes. Compelling? Not really. After a while, the laughter fades to a smile and then the smile fades ... The price it a bit steep as well. Eight pounds is definitely the most you could ask for the game. I think it would fare far better as a budget game. A shame, but then you can't win all the time.

The White Wizard

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