Dick Tracy the movie was an accurate and clever adaptation of Chester Gould's classic comic strip. The game couldn't be more different. Gone is the kind, sensitive, intelligent Dick of the comics and movie: in its place is a trigger-happy yellow-coated Robocop whose only aim ist to shoot anyone who gets in his way - in fact, the cop-out gameplay in this simple horizontally scrolling shoot-'em-up could have been used for any character, whether it be Robin Hood, Alien, or Superman.
The graphics are as weak and as thin as Dick's objectives. Tracy looks almost passable, until he moves. Utilising four fames of animation every two steps, our yellow-coated hero starts his arresting mission on the left side of the screen and has to cut his way through enemy ranks to leave on the right side, and a flick-screen system is used to depict the levels. Unfortunately, though, the favourite hideout for the bad guys seems to be in each border - an area which allows them to shoot you, without you being able to retaliate. Likewise, if Dick is standing too close to a character when he fires, his gun will shoot past them, even though they can still sap your energy.
Every time Dick is shot you temporarily lose control as he recoils. Your energy is subsequently reduced and when this expires it is game over. However, one of the game's biggest faults is that avoiding enemy bullets is a very hit and miss affair, and this means that skill isn't needed to complete the game, only luck.
I can appreciate that the programmers were trying to keep the seven colour style of the film, but the Amstrad-style colours used are just too gaudy and give the game a bland appearance. The end-of-level bosses are only recognisable thanks to the addition of a small piccy at the bottom of the screen.
Film tie-ins should take key scenes from the movie they are based on - as seen in Robocop II or Batman - and use different game styles to depict the action. Thanks to the lack of this variety and the quality of its graphics, sound and playability, Dick Tracy rates as something of a disappointment for first 'true Disney' game. There's bags of potential from this stable so let's hope that the next one's better.