DICK TRACY / Titus / Amiga

Whuf. Well, Titus was known for crappy licensed games in their time, but this one is on a truly special level of janky unplayability.

The game opens with a dapper tuxedo-wearing mob boss who has been Photoshopped into a dumpster for some reason. A butler stands by in the background while he rather calmly gets a load of cement dumped over his head. Apparently Dick Tracy had something to do with this gruesome murder, as we next learn that the Mob has declared war on him.

We also soon learn that the Mob is not playing. Tommy gun-wielding gangsters are all over the streets opening fire on Dick on sight. The goal seems to be simply to scroll left to right and survive this onslaught, periodically picking up guns for self-defense.

As with most Amiga action games, it was designed for the stock joystick with only one button and you hold it down while pressing a direction to perform actions. In this case, all Dick can do other than walk and duck is attack in various directions with the button down. Your fallback weapon is a stiff punch in the mush to the left or right, but once you get a gun you can aim straight up and at diagonal angles.

A little experimentation with the game's particular flavor of jank reveals that it wants you to basically duck bullets constantly, then pop up and return fire. OK, fair enough. It's like a stupid Rolling Thunder with no cover. It's a very basic and clumsy engine, but it could have still been parlayed into a passable action game if it wasn't handled so incompetently.

A lot of gangsters auto-duck when you fire at them, and there isn't any real good means to dispose of them other than just eating some of their lead to return fire while they're locked in their shooting animation. But that's iffy too, because enemy guns can sometimes start these random "chain combos" where you're just locked in place for a long time watching your health whittle down at an alarming rate.

You're mostly safe while ducking, as there's no damage upon sprite collision. However, when enemy sprites get close to you weird things start happening. They can sometimes hit you while ducking if they fire while standing right next to you, which bounces you up and usually puts you in the path of a bunch of tommy gun fire. It's also rather difficult and random to hit enemies when they're very close to you.

Mix all this up with constant unpredictable enemy respawns off the side of every screen along with extremely stingy ammo, and you got some real shitsauce on your hands. I kept getting killed at like the fifth or sixth screen because some guy who somehow has an automatic pistol in 1940 always spawns on top of you and no-sells all your bullets; I couldn't come up for a good answer for his panicked (yet highly effective) whirlwind of twitching jank, even if I managed to break out of it I had so little health by the end that enemies running up from ahead quickly polished me off.

Youtube videos indicate you can kinda bum rush your way through the game apparently, but this ain't worth learning the nuances of.

Videos :

* Gameplay Video