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Crime Buster (Atari 8 bit computers family)

The reviews on this site are the text versions of the videos on my YouTube channel. The text based reviews use (if at all) very little pictures. Please follow the link to the corresponding video in order to see in game graphics.

Crime Buster was made in 1988 by Atari for their 8 bit computers family. The game uses the Atari XG-1 light gun, made by Newtronics.

In the game's story a town is plagued by a gang of mobsters. The player is a police detective who was sent to fight this gang. The mobsters heard about this mission and try to hunt down the player.

The game starts off on a map screen with twelve tiles which represent individual levels. The player may select any of these tiles. If no tile was completed before, or if a tile is selected which isn't adjacent to a finished tile, a driving mini game has to be completed before the actual level starts. In this mini game the cars of the gang have to be shot while civilian cars should be spared. Shooting a civilian car will yield in an ammunition penalty. The ammunition acts as health in this game. Running out of ammunition will cause the player to die. The hostile cars are marked with a white stripe and shoot back. Shots are fired by shooting the red arrows in the lower right corner. Shooting the orange or blue arrow will change the location of the own car.

There are four types of levels which are distributed randomly on the twelve tiles. One location takes place on the streets. Another kind of level takes the player to a pier. There are warehouse missions and missions placed inside a backyard.

As before shooting civilians mostly yields in an ammunition penalty. However shooting an elderly man with yellow hat will fully refill the stock of ammunition and killing Santa Clause yields in a bonus live. Some levels have destroyable objects such as lamps. Shooting a lamp will dim the light.

If all twelve levels are completed or the player died the player is taken to the score screen. The rank “crime buster” is reserved for players who completed all levels.

Personally I like the game. It definitely has its flaws as the aiming is off and there is no calibration screen. This is especially irritating as I felt the hit boxes were a tad bit too small. The graphics look nice for an 8 bit Atari game and the sounds are fitting. Sadly besides the one track on the title screen there is no music inside the game.

The box art is held in the same style as the other Atari XE light gun games. Personally I think it is a bit boring.