Computer Gamer

Mugsy's Revenge

Publisher: Melbourne House
Machine: Spectrum 48K

Published in Computer Gamer #14

Mugsy's Revenge

Gangster Mugsy is back on the streets and is out for revenge. The result is a game featuring stunning graphics which thinly disguises a very old type of strategy game.

Playing the role of Mugsy, you must guide your ever-growing band of hoods to infamy and fortune in the USA of Prohibition days. Illegal alcohol, Speakeasies and shady ladies are the building blocks of the criminal empire which you must build up within ten years. Each year is much the same as the last. First you hire up to two gang members, pay them, then buy the liquor, pay the smuggler and give a back-hander to the police. The narrator is your sidekick who will occasionally offer advice if your payments get a bit mean. After this, you sell the liquor as profitable as possible, opening up Speakeasies when funds allow and hiring a few hookers to gain extra income.

If this sounds a bit dull and boring, you'd be right. As a listing the game would be lucky to find space in our programmer's section and its only saving grace is the graphics. Each hi-res backdrop appears so often in the game that even those lose their appeal after a play or two.

Mugsy's Revenge

Each year is punctuated by an animated cartoon of dastardly deeds in the Pool Hall. When I first saw this I don't mind admitting that I was stunned, but soon the novelty palled and boredom set in as I was forced to sit through the same sequence time and time again.

I think the programmers realised the game lacked a certain something because there is a short arcade action section which probably would form the basis of a far better game. A rival gang or the Feds are up in arms against you and you must meet them in a 3D street gun battle. Hookers are wandering about the street and Mugsy has to shepherd them onto the sidewalk and safety while avoiding the hot lead being spewed from the rods of the enemy.

If any bullets hit you the game ends and if too many hookers are hit you won't be very popular in the neighbourhood for the rest of the game. Win the battle, on the other hand and you are able to welcome in a bright New Year.

The basic aim is to stay solvent, even if it means a visit to Bags Lewis, the local moneylender. His interest rates are exhorbitantly high so be careful. Failure to stay in the black marketplace will result in a visit to Skid Row and the start of a new game.