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Mugsy

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Released: 1984

Genre: Strategy

Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum

Publisher: Melbourne House

Developer: Beam Software

Submitted by: Crispian Driver

This nice, but limited Strategy / Adventure was billed as a comic strip game. The colourful graphics certainly give it that look. Mugsy is certainly inspired by the Hollywood gangster movies it tries so hard to replicate. It creates a good gangster feeling with the text and screenshots.

So, you play Mugsy, the godfather of a gang of hoodlums and you're as keen as mustard to be the biggest and most powerful gang leader in the city. In order to succeed, you've got some big decisions to make. You must decide how many clients you want to protect, how many you want to 'squeeze'. How much money you want to spend on police bribery. You also need to decide how much you want to spend on weapons and ammo. Them crucial decisons you make determine the game, which plays by a year at a time.

At the end of the year, one of three things will happen: You do quite well and you're hoodlums stay loyal. You do too well and a contract gets taken out on you. Finally, you do badly, and in the words of your hoodlum colleagues, you're a 'Schmuck' and it's game over.

The game is played mainly by text, this is when you are entering your decions to the money making questions. When a contract is out on you, the game takes an arcade turn where you have a shoot out with the hitmen, it's a nice touch that breaks up the text side of the game.

At the start of Mugsy's write up, i stated it's limited. You basically make decions entering numbers mainly, it's very trial and error. I was thirteen when i first played this, some three years after it's release, so i just sat there entering numbers and hoping for the best. The screenshots are great and draw very quickly, but there's not many of them and they repeat. It has a reasonable tune, but no sound during play.

So, an original, but limited game, well worth a play. It's ready made for emulation because it's a keyboard game.