Unimpressive and morally unsound
The latest budget-priced release from Atlantis features Light Fingers Lonegan who is raiding the headquarters of the Acme Diamond Company. Unluckily for him, he has set off the alarm system and the whole building is swarming with police. As Lonegan, you must try to find all the diamonds, open the safe - which has a combination lock - and escape to your car.
The action takes place in a series of rooms linked by open doors. If you enter the lift you will be transported from one floor to another. This may involve waiting for the lift to arrive - which can be a bit hectic when the police are around.
Points are scored for collecting diamonds, which look suspiciously like asterisks, but they may be coloured blue or green. I had to guess that they were meant to be the jewels that form the heart of the game.
Additional points are scored for shooting policemen. You are armed with a 0.45 Magnum, but your poor carrying capacity necessitates frequent trips back to the getaway car to re-stock with ammunition. If you reach the cellar, the policemen are replaced by ghosts (of the Snapper type).
These and the policemen are hell-bent on tracking down the villain, but are armed only with truncheons, which means they must get close to you to capture you and haul you off to jail.
The other activity to attempt is safe-breaking, which involves finding a three number code by pure guesswork. The numbers on the safe change in response to a prod from Lonegan's nose, and I haven't cracked the combination. The problem is that hanging around the safe seems to attract police in their hundreds and keeping them at bay causes the ammo to run out. The game graphics are well up to par for software of this price, with simple sprites which undergo a sort of jerky animation but the overall speed of movement is quite good. The scenery that supports the action is plain to boring.
Sound effects are frequent and raucous, but they can be reduced or turned off. The game uses standard keys (but no joystick option) and has a pause facility as well as a high score table.
In my opinion this game is wholly inappropriate. It strikes me as abhorrent that success is measured by the ability to shoot policemen or steal diamonds. This type of activity should be given a fantasy setting where the nasties to be shot are not recognisable as part of our daily environment.
The background story spoils what is in essence a neat little budget game. Cops And Robbers was never destined to be a blockbuster - it could have been a pleasing stocking filler for the kids. As it stands, it surely must be given a miss.