Bring me to the Main Page   Bring me to the Reviews Index

Judge Dredd logo

Drokk! Stomm! Mega City One’s a rough old place. You can get a life sentence for dropping litter, get shot for eating sugar, chopped into Mr. Men-shaped pieces for smoking... and the punishment for writing crap intros is death. David McCandless is the guy on death row.

Judge Dredd The game opens with you at the keyboard of Justice Central’s mainframe. By being extremely clever and manipulative you can access classified information about yourself, your Lawgiver (gun) and your Lawmaster (bike). You can also have a quick go at the games judges play in their spare time (apparantely), namely Bomber (that old VIC-20 game where you try to flatten a whole city before you land) and Snakes (strange centipede collect ‘em up). IF you can drag yourself away from these outstanding landmarks in computer entertainment, you might be able to leach a few details from the computer about the missions.

1 Fatties are taking over the city. They are gorging themselves on the entire city’s food supply. Dredd must deactivate the food dispensers and then stop the obese ones from hijacking the whole colony.

2 Evil doctor Fribbs has formulated an evolution-reversing enzyme and exposed the whole of the Charles Darwin city block to it. Dredd must fight his way through rampant monkeys, dinosaurs, and amoebas to neutralise the enzyme and the mad professor himself.

3 Soviet Agent Orlock has impregnated the city’s water supply with the Blockmania or Football-Stadium virus. It makes everyone go ape and attack each other. Dredd must cut off the water-supply and then hunt down naughty Orlock.

4 Orlock has escaped and fled to the Mega City weather station to polute the rain water with Blockmania. Dredd must capture Orlock before he kills Michael Fish! Nooooo!

5 Blockmania has broken out on all fronts. Dredd finds himself caught in the crossfire between two warring blocks and must neutralise the artillery on both sides.

6 The Dark Judges from another dimension have reappeared and they all need to be taught some basics in personal hygiene. But since they are already dead, how can Dredd defeat them?

7 Dredd has fallen in love. The justice department boffins have schrunk him and placed him inside his own body. He has to explore his abdomen and deactivate four ‘passion-pumps’ while avoiding vicious libidos. (Really? Ed.)

Zero, November 1990, p.46

Dredd approves



Judge Dredd
Virgin Mastertronic

Amiga Review Macca: Each mission follows a basic formula. Dredd is faced with a nightmare maze of gangways, paths, balconies and slopes. He must march along these, find and deactivate the food dispenser, water conduit etc. and at the same time avoid the ‘perps’ for among them lurk innocent citizens.
As the crime rate is soaring, shooting the latter by mistake will and him in trouble. Dredd can’t die, of course, but his energy can be sorely reduced. When it bottoms, he has to recover in hospitals and in this lapse, the crime rate sails up. If it reaches its peak, Dredd considers himself a failure and quits to become a greengrocer in Warrington.

It is all very well done. It has some neat atmosphere intro screens and music, with snippets being taken straight from the cartoon original. The eight-way scrolling is impeccably smooth, the sprites are impeccably er, smooth. They glide around like championship skaters, even the fatties. Everything is detailed and colourful. Judge Dredd himself is a very impressive sprite, all sausagey thights and stompy walk. He grabs convincingly for his LawGiver and straddles his LawMaster. The bike can be called at any time and used to burn around, mowing down citizens. The only snag is that you can’t shoot things when you’re riding.

When you can fire, there is a choice of three bullets: normal, armour piercing and heat seeking. The latter is good fun. You simply fire and a bullet with a neat curving tracer spirals off into the nears hot object. Alas, the nearest hot objects are usually the warm internal organs of a nearby innocent citizen.

The levels are very samey; a complex framework of horizontal and diagonal platforms. The objectives are very samey, and the ways of eliminating enemies a bit samey too. In fact, ‘samey’ seems to be the problem with the whole game. There’s no way enough variety in it. The end-of-level scrolling sub-games add something but they end too quickly. The perps’ movement patterns are too fixed. Even athletic old Dredd seems rather restricted at times, by Drokk.







Judge Dredd logo

Virgin, C64 £9.99 cassette, £14.99 disk; Amiga £19.99
Judge Dredd The symbol of the '80s revival of British comics, Judge Dredd is the sort of character who wouldn't look out of place in Speedball II. In short, Dredd is psychopathic, brutal and bloodthirsty. His beat is Mega-City One in 2023, an American metropolis with a population of no less than 400 million. This authoritarian nightmare suffers a suicide every 45 seconds and an ever increasing crime rate – hence the judges who can administer 'instant justice' at the point of a gun. For the average citizen fear of crime and fear of this 'justice' are about even.

The computer game consists of a city block presented in side-on fashion with a maze series of platforms and ramps to explore. Dredd can move about on foot, or by bike if you press 'space'. The Lawmaster bike is obviously the fastest to travel, but Dredd can't shoot from it. On foot Dredd is armed with a pistol which can fire ordinary bullets, homing missiles or a high-powered laser (which cuts through a whole line of people). The latter two have limited ammo and can be picked up; you can select missiles but the laser stays on until it runs out. This can be a problem when criminals get mixed up with civilians: every innocent you kill increases the crime wave bar – when this hits the maximum it's game over. You can also die if energy falls to zero.

To complete a level, Dredd must find the four special objects scattered around – deactivated by walking by them – before heading for the exit. The end-level confrontation varies according to the adventure: on level One Dredd must leap from carriage to carriage on a food convoy, on level Two a mad scientist must be shot, and level Five features a jetbike chase.

The six adventures draw obvious inspiration from the comics: level Two's Fibbs Lab and Five's Blockmania are based on specific stories.

Zzap, Issue 72, April 1991, p.9

Stuart Wynne Random Access have done a string of good conversions so hopes were high for a licence like Dredd where they had freedom to develop some original gameplay. Sadly about the only mildly original aspect is the varied end-level confrontation subgames which, in the event, aren't that great. Worse, the main gameplay is so tedious and so difficult on the Amiga that Virgin have supplied a map showing the location of the vital aspects. This map doesn't work on the C64, which is marginally more playable with a more controllable crime rate (on the Amiga it shoots up so fast a single mistake can be fatal). The C64 also has superior graphics and remembers the location of baddies when you switch between bike and man – on the Amiga the characters are scrambled so getting off your bike to shoot someone is often pointless (and extremely irritating!).

Robin Hogg JD has been the only surviving character from 2000AD's early years and to my mind is as strong a character/image as Robo himself. Unfortunately, Virgin do have a habit of mucking up the licence, the first game failed miserably and the second barely holds its head above water, the simplistic gameplay not doing the game any favours. Different missions appeal with graphic and objective variety but there's a LOT of wandering around involved and it can an annoyingly long haul to get anywhere; make one mistake and that's it. For use of machine, the C64 game comes out on top: Dredd is a good looking sprite, the falling flatties are a laugh and the backdrops look slightly grimier/authentic than the 16-bit Mega City One – they just haven't tried on the Amiga. In enjoyed the C64 game because at least you are given a chance – the frustration factor of the Amiga game seems to be set to max and I'm not playing it again!


Blocky cartoon-style screens when you die/call up bike etc, intro for each level and good multiload.
Good Dredd sprite and backgrounds.
Basic spot FX and optional mediocre music.
Quite a bit of shooting makes for an appealing start...
...but the repetition of gameplay discourages long-term play.

For dedicated Dredd fans only.


Same as C64.
Mediocre sprites and backgrounds.
Mediocre tune and FX.
Tough to begin with...
...and repetitive over the longer term.

Another Dreddful game.