Mugsy's Revenge

Publisher: Melbourne House
Machine: Commodore 64

Published in Zzap #13

Mugsy's Revenge

Mugsy's Revenge is set during the American prohibition period around 1919. Mugsy the gangster has just been granted parole and on release from prison has discovered that the stilling of alcohol has become illegal. Mugsy's spell in the local jail has not taught him anything about the evils of crime and his immediate reaction to the prohibition is that it's a golden opportunity for him to build up his formerly powerful empire.

You play the role of Mugsy and must take all the decisions which could make him the most powerful gangster of the criminal underworld. One of Mugsy's chief hoods asks all the questions and from your replies carries out orders to the best of his ability. He often gives invaluable advice and tells, you if he thinks you're being irresponsible. The game is played over a series of cartoon-type screens with text appearing in speech bubbles.

Luckily, Mugsy has £50,000 left over from his previous exploits; you have to use that sum as a basis on which to build an empire. When play commences Mugsy's hood in chief recommends that 'real dough can be made in moonshine booze, and with your 50 grand we can make a real packet outta smuggling down Canadian booze.' If you agree then he'll recommend you first get some more boys - you can either ignore the suggestion or take on one or two more hoods. Don't forget though, if you take more people into your organisation, their wages have to be paid! Once that little problem has been dealt with, your chief hood tells you the current price of barrels of alcohol and asks how many you'd like to try to smuggle in. These barrels can be later sold at quite a profit, although buying excess barrels could leave you lacking in funds - a lot of money has to be given to organise the smuggling ring, and a little donation to the police 'charity fund' helps keep the law away.

Mugsy's Revenge

If you manage to smuggle in the booze then you can sell it at a higher price in the auctions, and from this you have to build up your profits. Naturally there are other gangsters constantly trying to undermine each other's supremacy, and if you don't keep your hoods happy they could well do a runner and take your money with them. On the other hand, if they enjoy working with you then their enthusiasm will reap its own rewards! If you feel that someone is really cramping your style then you can always nave them 'rubbed out'.

If you manage to build up enough money, you can start buying nightclubs to give a further boost to profits, but then they have to be staffed with trustworthy men and 'woiking goils'. Occasionally the feds hear of your exploits and a shoot-out occurs. The screen switches to an arcade style battle where you have to fight for your very survival. The shoot-out is played on a street with a few hookers strolling along the sidewalk. The player is given full control over Mugsy, who has to walk the dames off the street before the feds arrive. When they do appear they try to shoot Mugsy, who's also armed. He can be hit five times before he dies whilst a fed only needs one shot on target to kill him.

After ten years game time has elapsed the prohibition is lifted and the profits, barrels, girls and nightclubs are all shown on screen so you can see how well you did.


Mugsy's Revenge

Other than pretty graphics and jolly music, there's not a lot to Mugsy's Revenge. With little variation in play it soon proves boring, as do the animated sequences and music when you've seen and heard them a couple of times. I think it would have worked better if it was icon driven, since it would have allowed more flexible and varied responses to be entered and injected a bit more life into the game. As it is, Mugsy's Revenge is just plain dull.


Though of a very pretty type, Mugsy's Revenge just doesn't stand up to repeated play. It's just far too dull. The graphics are amazing though, especially the pool hall sequence which is the most film-like thing I've yet seen on computer. Musically it is very competent and the little ditties are all very atmospheric. The trouble is that the gameplay is just too simple and very repetitive. It may well be worth a look at, but I can't see the appeal it would create for any end user.


I played Mugsy ages ago and I remember not being too impressed then. The follow-up is very similar, in fact too similar to be worthy of purchasing if you have its forerunner. The different screens, not very numerous, aren't particularly wonderful, although the animated scene is quite nice (for the first couple of times you see it). The game itself is dull and uninteresting and there are only a few things to do each simulated year played. The text is limited and the same old phrases crop up time and time again. Even if you thought Mugsy was ace you could well be disappointed by this.


Mugsy's Revenge

Presentation 69%
Reasonable, but nothing over special.

Graphics 78%
A few nice screens, but not many.

Sound 76%
A few atmospheric tunes.

Mugsy's Revenge

Hookability 43%
Easy to get into, but not particularly interesting.

Lastability 31%
Limited gameplay and the repetitive nature makes it dull after a couple of games.

Value For Money 27%
Expensive considering its limitations and monotonous nature.

Overall 33%
Don't play it again Sam.