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Virgin Games Ltd
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K

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Chris Jenkins
Chris Bourne

If you can explain to me why the cover of this game shows a man in white clown makeup wielding a baseball bat, I'll be eternally grateful. It's a pity the artwork i such plop, because I know some people still buy games according to what's on the cover, and New York Warriors deserves a lot better than this.

Imagine a game based on a cross between John Carpenter's movies Escape From New York and They Live, and you've roughly got the idea of New York Warriors. The year is 2014, and a ruthless criminal ring, C3C, almost dominates America. Only The Warriors, immune to C3C's mind-bending drugs, remain to fight; but now in an attempt to flush out the Warriors, the baddies have rendered all of New York's unconscious and planted a nuclear bomb in the World Trade Centre. Your task is to reach and deactivate it in time.

The top-down perspective graphics show the background of New York's parks, subways, bridges and slums; you fight your way through them shooting everyone, C3C thug or apparently innocent civilian who might prove to be dangerously violent. The multi-way scrolling allows you to explore in all directions, but the exit to the next level usually seems to be straight up.

THe graphics are great, the animation fine, and the action relentless; gun-toting Rambo types leap out with Kalashnikovs blazing, sleeping bums jump up and let rip, and explosions tear the streets apart. Hang around anywhere too long and jet-packers fly across dropping bombs - you can't shoot them down, so your only option is to run like buggery.

Along the way you'll find the inevitable extra weapons; the first, a multi-way firing assault rifle, you'll need to fight your way across the heavily defended Brooklyn.

Missile launchers, flame throwers and grenade launchers are found later on; without them, you'll probably be pinned down in a crossfire and be unable to proceed without losing a life. Sometimes you have to make this sacrifice, as the few seconds of invulnerability allow you to pass some otherwise impossible obstacles, but you don't have many lives to play with.

I have a strong suspicion that you aren't going to finish this one without the help of a friend - in two-player mode, both players appear on screen simultaneously, with the progress of the first limited by the current position of the second, if you follow me.

It's the quality of the graphics and the attention to detail which really score - rats scuttle across the roads explosions bloom like fiery flowers, and the snarls on the faces of the thugs are truly scary. Like Ikari Warriors on laxatives, New York Warriors will really get you going.

Reviewer: Chris Jenkins

Non-stop slam-bang arcade action. Bone crunchingly brilliant.