Publisher: U. S. Gold
Machine: Commodore 64

Published in Computer & Video Games #100


Dr. K (no relation to the inventor of Special K breakfast cereal) wants to take over the world. To do so, he's designed a new breed of robot - the Replicant, which, to the untrained eye, is indistinguishable from a normal human being. Enter Ben and Andy, two ace coppers from the special Crackdown police unit. Fortunately, they've just watched the movie Bladerunner, so they know exactly what a Replicant is, and, in no time at all, they hit the streets and begin the hunt for K and his cronies.

The Replicants have infested several areas of the city; the populace have been evacuated, and Ben and Andy can get to work. The only way to close down the operation is to destroy the Replicant hot-beds, and what better way than to use good old-fashioned dynamite?

Prime sites have been chosen for each explosives drop (marked by crosses on the playing area) where the two boys in blue must put their Semtex, while at the same time shooting or avoiding the rampaging Replicants (extra ammo can be picked up if supplies run low) and dealing with hazards like chasms, water and conveyor belts which carry the unsuspecting rozzers to their doom.

Crack Down

Depending on the size of the area, the amount of explosives needed to destroy the site varies - and to add to their troubles, the explosives have set time limits; if they're not all dropped within the time given, it's goodbye to Ben and Andy.


While Crackdown smacks of Gauntlet, with its birds-eye view graphics and simultaneous two-player option, the players are not held up by each other as was the case in the aforementioned classic, because each character occupies his own half of the screen and moves independently.

This results in the players being able to cover more ground and also help each other out by offering covering fire! While the graphics aren't spectacular, they are very atmospheric with their drab colours and shadows; and keep in mind the blood, sweat and tears which programmers Arc have put into Crackdown by, among other things, achieving the impossible and successfully transferring the coin-op's split screen to the C64.

A fine start to US Gold's new decade and a treat for gamers everywhere.