Ronnie Biggs says...

Crime Does Not Pay logo

Publisher: Titus Price: £25.99

Your beloved Uncle Don C has decided to quit the family business before someone makes him quit. The only person who could possible take over is you. It's up to you to become the crime king of the city and the easiest way of doing this is by becoming mayor. Don't laugh, someone has to get elected, so it might as well be you. If any of the other contenders get in your way you can always deal with them in true Mafia fashion - you know, concrete boots or something like that.

The basics are simple. You choose whether you want to lead an Italian or Chinese crime family consisting of three characters, and you take control of one of these as he or shw walks around the town.

Now this ain't no ordinary town and lying around the streets you will find useful everyday objects like safe codes, door keys and ammo. These are used to gain access to buildings, and to the people and objects inside. The objects can then be used to the gentler art of blackmail - now that's one way to win elections! There are 20 files littered around which could reveal some juicy gossip on any of the town's leading figures. Store these and use them later on.

Avoiding the police is also a good idea, especially if you're a bit trigger happy, but a police location beacon will soon sort that problem out. When you have a bit of skill on the gun and have found some dynamite and a detonator, you could always try to rob a bank to increase your finances and your social standing.

Crime Does Not Pay players will spend hours at first wandering around trying to work out what you are supposed to do. The control method, although somewhat unusual, is quite easy to get used to and there are loads of different places to explore but they all look a bit "samey". It's not a bad game but then it's no Eye of the Beholder either.

Crime Does Not Pay logo

TITUS * £25.99 Joystick and keyboard

Crime Does Not Pay proudbly boasts the legend "Officially Endorsed by the Mafia" on the box. It's not entirely clear if this is good or bad news. The Mafia may know an awful lot about robbery, extortion and drug dealing, but in the field of software production, they have to be considered novices. At least if Crime Does Not Pay is any indication.

Crime is an arcade adventure where you control three members of a syndicate that is bidding for the control of a city. The overall strategy is to get one of the family elected mayor, but this requires extreme skullduggery and general nastiness. Police chiefs, judges and bankers must be bought off or controlled, hit men must be killed or avoided and the cash has to be kept rolling in.

Family fortunes
Crime is committed by a wandering sprite-style of arcade adventure, where a joystick-controlled villain is sent snooping, stealing and shooting on screen. They can walk the streets meeting and killing folk, or enter buildings and search for evidence to bolster the Costa Nostra's power bid.

Protection racket
Crime uses a collect-and-protect structure as its main gameplay angle. Each of the three-member family has a limited amount of health and five pockets in which to put evidence, cash and anything else they think may be useful later. This could be incriminating evidence or a clip of ammunition; both have their uses. The three family members have different abilities and so must be used to their best effect; but they also provide the mechanics by which multiple lives are introduced into a real world scenario.

Crime is controlled via the joystick or keyboard. This is fine for street sections where simply up, down, left and right commands suffice. It proves tricky and slow to use though, when dealing with more avant garde ideas such as picking stuff up, shooting someone or using an object.

The menu system is inflexible and demands a rigid order. This wouldn't be that hard to deal with, when time's on your side. But many rooms, to encourage speed, introduce snipers who blast your health away if you hang around. Due to the menu system, though, hanging about is inevitable when you want to give a room a complete search and so is the associated damage.

Crime has always been painted as a glamorous and thrilling career, full of drama. Crime, though, does not deliver this excitement. The adventure mode limits the level of action, but Crime's attempt to inject pace does not work. The gunfights are hard to control and prove more frustrating than tense, while walking and searching is hampered by slow screen switching. The overall tone is set by the tedious long loading time and the game's need to totally reboot after each defeat.

In solution
Crime is a free-form game that does not have a straightforward, linear solution. On the positive side it gives the player true freedom of choice. They can do anything they want, anytime they want. This is certainly true of Crime, there is plenty to do, find and see. The down side of this is that the game can lose focus and become confusing. Players cannot readily gauge the success of any particular tactic. Crime suffers here, because while its obvious what you can do, the motive force of why you should bother is lacking.

Crime improves once you reach it through the first few hours. It takes a stronger, more identifiable shape as plot and tactics rear their heads. Getting to this point, though, takes considerable time and firm convictions. Crime does get better, but it doesn't pay off.

Crime Does Not Pay: User interface explanation
  1. Life Meter
  2. Inventory
  3. Ammo
  4. Map
  5. Disk Options
  6. Commands - Take, use, friendly talk, shoot and cancel
  7. Active object description
  8. Active object window
  9. The room which you are currently searching

Crime Does Not Pay logo

Ist dieses Mafia-Adventure mit Actioneinlagen nun ein Angebot, das man nicht Ablehnen kann? Eher im Gegenteil: Mag der Pate noch so machthungrig sein - die Gangster-Karriere á la Titus könnte selbst Al Capone zur Ehrlichkeit treiben...

Mit dem Ziel, Justiz und Verwaltung der Stadt zu kontrollieren, kann man etweder bei der chinesichen Mafia oder der italienischen Cosa Nostra Familienoberhaupt werden. Jeder Clan besteht aus drei Personen mit verschiedenen Eigenschaften - es gilt nun, mit den schweren Jungs oder Mädchen straßen und Häuser zu durchsuchen.

Man findet Munition, dicke Dollarbündel und Dokumente, mit denen sich die Mächtigen im Ort erpressen lassen; gelegentlich gibt auch ein braver Bürger einen Tip. Erschwert wird der Aufschwung zum Capo di tutti Capi durch schießfreudige Kriminelle und schlagkräftige Punks, die sich in den Straßen herumtreiben: Wer zuerst ballert, lebt länger; nur sollte man sich nicht von der Polizei erwischen lassen...

Grafisch gibt sich die ganoven-Oper recht kindisch, zudem ruckeln die Animationen mit dem Scrolling um die Wette.

Auch die Joysticksteuerung (direkt im Bild plus ein paar Icons) ist eine Katastrophe, mit der Tastatur geht's nur unwesentlich besser. überzeugen kann eigentlich nur die stimmungsvolle Musik, und das ist ja wohl ein bißchen wenig.

Da auch das Gameplay fad ist, und noch dazu alle Hinweise nach einem Reset wieder an gewohnter Stelle auftauchen, ist hier der Spieler nur unter Androhung roher Gewalt bei der Stange zu halten. Dafür stimmt der Titel: Verbrechen, wie beispielsweise dieses Game zu kaufen, zahlen sich wirklich nicht aus! (jn)

Crime Does Not Pay logo

By rights, this review shjould have been written from within the safe confines of a mental institution, for never as your reviewer been closer to eating his own head in a state of maddened frustration than after two hours in the vile company of this pseudo-gangster yam , Crime Does Not Pay.

It's not that I think there's anything wrong with doing a game based on the undoubted thrills and spills of a gangster's life - where would the movies be without The Godfather or Scarface, say? - simply that I think making such a hopeless game out of such a gift of a subject matter should be a felony in itself.

So how does it work? Well, you are the head of a criminal organisation - the game is 'endorsed by the Mafia' it says on the box - and it's your job to kill your enemies (i.e. Just about everyone else in the game), make pots of money and finally become mayor of a major American city.

This plot, desperately weedy as it is, takes you through a series of inane arcade sequences and unworkable 'pick objects up and use them' scenes.

The arcadey bits promise much at first, with some reasonable graphical representations of urban sidewalks, but get underway and you soon realise the horrid truth - gunplay is useless, killing boils down to a matter of waggling your joystick vaguely in every direction you can think of until some thug hits the deck, scrolling is juddery, loading is slow, gameplay is trashy, the manual is a mess, the so-called humour is fatuous, and... well, I'm sorry but enough is enough. I just can't take it any more.

No doubt you'll be able to read a very similar review to this one in six month's time when the game finds itself a home in our Oh Dear - I only hope I won't be the one who has to play the darned thing all over again.

Crime Does Not Pay logo

A small red seal on the cover of Crime Does Not Pay boasts that it is officially endorsed by The Mafia - if that's true, then there should be a few worried people at Titus's French offices because this is one of the worst games I have ever had the misfortune to play.

The scenario involves taking over the mantle of the main gang leader and climbing through the echelons of power until the status of Mayor is attained. To do this, the streets of Crime's unnamed city must be traversed, and its many buildings scoured for clues, money and objects with which power can be bribed or stolen.

So far, so good then. The main reason Crime Does Not Pay fails is that the premise of the game is completely wasted within a tedious game structure which plays at the speed of a hobbling sloth and is about as exciting.

Crime is split into two distinct sections, with the main bulk of the game set within the many flick-screens that make up the city. These streets are inhabited by a series of Policemen and a few dubious hoods, but to meet the key characters who'll speed up your path to Mayordom, buildings must be entered and the people within interrogated or cajoled.

In addition, whilst hunting for the central characters, the odd bit of burglary can add such useful items as stockings, bullets, safe codes and blackmail papers to your five-item inventory. When searching a house, a view of the room is shown as the screen's central image and, using a series of icons, the enclosed objects and people can be collected and questioned.

However, this system, whilst simple in theory, proves to be frustrating in the extreme thanks to a series of over-responsive controls. In addition, the control system then swings towards unresponsiveness during the walkabout sequences, with the three gang members strutting around and reacting very slowly to the wrenching of the joystick.

During these sections, the animation is extremely stilted and, for absolutely no reason, the character's walk starts to twitch and stop - and although it would be hard to imagine any worse animation, Crime excels itself in its attempts. Similarly, on drawing a gun on one of the attacking muggers or gun-toting bad guys, positioning the weapon's cross hair is a real hit 'n' miss affair, and the delay can cost the player valuable energy.

These faults, along with the unbelievably tedious gameplay and wasted opportunities, make Crime Does Not Pay a real still-born effort. In all, Crime wouldn't push a C64 to its limits, and to expect Amiga owners to part with their hard-earned cash for this pile of tripe is a diabolical liberty. Avoid.


The undisputed King of Crime is easily Chicago's Al Capone. Rising through the ranks of the Mafioso, Capone built up a massive empire before becoming top dog of all the Windy City's crime syndicates. With operations ranging from prostitution to the liquor-smuggling times of Prohibition, he covered his shady dealing via a series of front operations and laundered his ill-gotten gains through assorted laundries, casinos and export offices. Using a series of accountants, Capone got away scot-free for years and ruled over Chicago with a rod of steel. Prone to the odd violent rage, Capone dealt with untrustworthy employee s himself, and his reputation as a tough boss reinforced his control. Eventually, Capone was jailed for tax evasion, such was the tight security surrounding his shadowing dealing, but the evidence gained was enough to put him away and out of the city's hair. It was in jail that Capone finally died, the cause of which was rumoured to be Syphilis.