The game begins, like the TV series, with an early morning Roll Call. The nine officers and five rookies under your control can then be assigned to various districts within the precinct. Each area has its own crimerate and the mere presence of an officer on patrol will tend to reduce the number of crimes committed. The main screen gives a Sim City-style bird’s eye view of the Precinct, complete with roads, buldings and cars, which is remarkably detailed. The city also has a day and night cycle; when it gets dark, the streets light switch on and help illuminate the roads. The 400 citizens in the game are all unique and have their own individual appearance. This helps give the game extra depth and long-lasting appeal. Each time a crime is committed, the radio operator at Hill Street ralays the information via a scrolling message which appears at the bottom of the screen. To the right of this is a bank of icons which help control the game. After an hour’s play, everything should become clear and then the fun can really start, After arriving at the scene of a crime it’s useful to explore the area and question bystanders to see if they match the description of the suspect. When you’ve decided on a likely villain you can either warn, arrest of shoot them. Don’t be surprised if he shoots back! There are even serial killers on the loose who are extremely dangerous and will resist arrest at all costs. The more crimes an individual commits without being caught, the more likely they are to commit others. Hill Street Blues is a complex and highly enjoyable game which requires careful planning and allocation of resources. The graphics are functional and suit the game perfectly. Although the sprites are extremely tiny, it’s still possible to make out individual characters, The attention to detail is quite staggering – even the police cars’ lights flash when the siren is turned on. The in-game sound effects are also noteworthy. Drivers will blast their horns if they get caught up in a traffic jam, cars doors slam when closed and pedestrians emit a strangled shout when shot by police snipers. One of those rare games which you can’t put down once you’ve started to play. If you love sim games then download this classic right away, the age dons’t matter; it’s just great!

news source: AF/AP/CU/AC / image source: GenerationAmiga / watch on youtube / download Hill Street Blues

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