Atari 2600 – Gangster Alley

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The advantages of being invincible…


 

A shooting game by Spectravision (known for developing many rare games for the Atari 2600) reminiscent of a carnival shooting booth.
Well, if the booth would include living targets.

You are a world-class sniper.
Renowned criminal Chicago Joe was caught but in retaliation, his gang has holed up in an apartment building, taking hostage a dame and her kid.
The gang consists of Shifty, Scar Face, Mugsy, and Lefty.
You have to shoot them as soon as they appear in one of the windows or they will fire back.
Four hits and you’re dead.
Be careful to not shoot any of the hostages or you will lose a lot of money.
On top of the building is the fifth member, Nitro Ed.
This madman is absolutely fearless and runs across the roof like he doesn’t give a f*ck.
He will sometimes hold up a grenade.
Shoot him immediately or get nuked which results in an instant game over.
When you shot the members often enough they will reload their guns and you move on to the next round.
Rinse and repeat.

I have played this type of game before but the whole ‘gangsters and hostages‘ scenario felt really refreshing.
Moving the crosshair across the screen is also smooth and aligning your shot just in time is thrilling.
Ammo is limited, so aim carefully.
That works well for a few levels until you reach a nighttime stage.
The whole area is pitch black (except for Nitro Ed) and the only way to illuminate the building is by firing a bullet.
That results in many wasted shots and easily ends in the player being out of ammo and absolutely defenseless.
That sucks and could’ve been avoided by adding bonus ammo for good shots or multiple hits in a row.

This is partly responsible for keeping Gangster Alley from being a great good title.
The graphics are alright with the different scumbags all boasting their unique characteristics. Although its hard to ignore the snot-green building.
I wish there were more sound effects like screams or sirens.
You know, for immersion.
All you get is some very annoying tune that follows a game over.
At least Nitro Ed is running towards the screen laughing like a maniac.
Pretty funny actually.

Gangster Alley is an interesting game for collectors but everybody else will also enjoy it for the (little) time it lasts.
Try it!

6/10

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