If you want a really good laugh then get your hands on the short story that accompanies this little adventure offering. It really is the most clichéd and unbearably bad piece of blurb fiction I've ever read. Here are some examples: "Maybe one day lady luck would shuffle the deck and I'd get a better hand." and it gets better as well. Check this out: "The girl was about 5ft 6in, with legs that looked longer than that." briljant! And finally: "The words hit me like a hard right to the jaw from Mike Tyson." Absolute cobblers, isn't it?
The whole story fiasco is the usual lame way of introducing the player to the plot of the game, although it could have been done a lot quicker, and with a lot less embarrassment, in a few paragraphs. So, to save you he physical pain of rehashing this epic tale, here's the cut-down version.
Your Dad's a private eye, his mate's been murdered. Dad's in the nick, you've got to prove his innocence. There, no need for anything more than that.
The game is similar in style to one of those sport management efforst. You know, you see your desk and you can select different actions by clicking on the telephone, the computer, the diary etc. The number of options isn't quite as great as you might expect, but there's plenty of scope for exploration in your first hour or so.
The manual, despite the crap story, promises great things from Crime City, but the game doesn't quite deliver. Apparently, in you'll become embroiled in the seedy underworld, dealing with hit men and informants and all manner of low life. And as the blurb tells us that characters' reactions to you will alter to suite the way you talk to them, I was looking forward to a pretty exciting interactive experience. The trouble is that, well, the manual lied. As far as I can tell, the characters' responses are as predictable as a BBC sitcom. I mean, I went to my girlfriend's house, and told her we were splitting up. She threw a right wobbler, as I expected. Then I said I'd see her later, she kissed me on the cheek and called me "Cubbywubbykins" or something. Not quite what the manual promised.
If you keep asking the same question, you get the same response over and over. In short, the characters are about as responsive as the scenery. What a bunch of fibbers.
Another way in which the game let me down was its distinct lack of anything even remotely seedy. Even though it is called Crime City, the map makes it more look a lot like Trumpton. The seedy bar is more like a cosy country pub and your main character lives at home with his mum. Crime City? More like flippin' Enid Blyton's "Five investigate a Beastly Murder" if you ask me!
I'm getting probably being a bit unfair here. Crime City's actually quite good fun. You can while away a few hours making 'humorous' phone calls to the local bobbies, or making dates with your girlfriend that she never even shows up to.
The trouble is that the action is repetitive, making the whole game feel about as involving as watching someone else's home video. A nice idea, but Cruise for a Corpse did it first and a million times better.