Poor old Bruce Willis. He just hasn't been the same since the movie called Hudson Hawk was released.
Why? 'Cos some people hated it, some people involved in it tried to bury it in an undiscovered corner of Lapland whilst others who liked it are still undergoing severe electro convulsive therapy somewhere in a dug up corner of Lapland.
Under these circumstances I was wondering just how bad the game could be but I really should have been a weatherman, 'cos stone me with a ten ton boulder if Hudson Hawk hasn't ended up as one of the Spectrum surprises of the year! Equal measures of cuteness, firepower and brain power are all evident once you take up the stick.
For those of you unfamiliar with the film (or those of you who have recently awakened to find yourselves in a heavily populated corner of Lapland, Hudson is a famous international jewel thief who must break into so-called impregnable buildings and recover historical artefacts.
Level one sees Hudson tackling Rutherford's Auctioneers to gallop off with Leonardo Da Vinci's horse sculpture "Sforza". Level two involves absconding from the Vatican with Leonardo's famous sketch book 'The Codex' whilst in level three he enters Leonardo's castle to retrieve a mystical stone called "The Mirrored Crystal".
Hudson Hawk is horizontally scrolling mayhem. Our main man is represented by a very cute, smiling and sliding, black and white sprite - his enemies are all rather unusual. The first time each new one appears on screen it's guaranteed to make you laugh, especially the manic cycling clown and the bum biting dobermann. You must avoid them, collect money, negotiate alarms and traps and use your brain to solve end of level access puzzles.
Control is very precise - too precise al times! If you have a dodgy joystick, trying to complete the game could be more difficult and infuriating than attempting to cut down a conifer with a wet kipper. Sound fits well and the music track is worth a listen.
I was pleasantly surprised with this title, it's cute, it's funny and has lots of puzzle and shoot 'em up action. If you liked the film (and will be returning from Lapland in time for Christmas) you'll no doubt want to see this. If not I'd recommend it anyway, it might be a little confusing at first but it's got a depth and humour that unfortunately puts our Brucie's performance in the film to shame!
Label: Ocean Memory: 48K/128K Price: £10.99 Tape, £15.99 Disk Reviewer: Big Al Dykes
Cute, playable, horizontally scrolling criminal high jinks in Rome. The wealth of funny enemies, hidden traps and puzzles in Hudson Hawk makes it well worth a look.