After a couple of months being ahead of the rest I find myself behind once again, reading others’ reviews before penning my own. Oddly enough I don’t like reading other reviews before writing mine as rather than just cliche you’re tempted to look for a new angle, and sometimes there isn’t one. This game’s about Bugsy Maroon and he’s gonna wase’d da whole south side wedda yu like it or not so let’s get all the pussy and rabbit footing over with and leave all the cliches where they belong — in the adventure.
Being a St Brides game, that girlie Trixie Trinian (who used to be Jennings before he donned a pink shirt and green knickers) kicks this one off in the common room of the school, writing about her adventures in the Very Big Caves in the hope of selling them to a Sunday newspaper. Suddenly the peace and tranquillity of the boarding school ethos is broken by the door bursting open to reveal a real cutey rabbit, about three feet tall, and pale blue, although the depth of blue might well increase if its gunshot wound isn’t attended to promptly. The common gregarious burrowing leporid mammal not only walks but talks: ‘Da name’s Bugsy, Bugsy Maroon. I wanted to take over da Chicago mobs but I blew it. It’s all over now. I’m hurt bad. I’m gonna die’.
Now the next bit is a bit zany, but bear with me. The rabbit, despite a never-say-die pep talk from Trixie, still snuffs it, but instead of preparing Fried Rabbit with the girls, the program offers redemption in the way only adventures can and it’s a case of ‘Do you want to try again’? Now an annoying thing is that every time you get killed in the game (and, by the very nature of the adventure, this is very often) you must go through this common room death scene which becomes a real chore, I can tell you.
Playing the game and reading the descriptions is pretty good fun as there’s some real humour lurking at each locality. I tended to prefer the real zany stuff and there is much play on the fact that you are guiding this long-eared bunny around the Chicago streets of the 20’s. Take this passage from the jailhouse area of town: ‘“Hey, you with the ears!” snarls one of the guards, barring my way. “This is the jailhouse”’. Then below it you read “Hey, you wit’ the keyboard! Whaddaya tryin’ ta get me in the jailhouse for?” And again with “I am standing outside a theatrical costumier’s (betcha didn’t know I could say words that long). To the north the road goes northwards while to the south it stretches in a southerly direction” (I like the zany bit at the end — more of which in a moment). Entering the shop gives you: “I am inside da thatsoomers... I mean da fatricoomiers... Aw heck, you already know I can say the words, so shaddup”. Pure zaniness is this passage taken from the poster at the railway station: “Come to Chicago where lights are bright, where men are men and women are women. Where horses are horses and dogs are dogs and everything else is pretty much the way you’d expect it to be”.
Bugsy is without doubt an entertaining game with zany humour and a SCORE command which reflects money acquired in the first instance, but later shows your ranking amongst Public Enemies. You can spend a long time wandering around the adventure but you are only really getting somewhere when you get to scan the option screen with the following options on it: G GREET, F SWEETTALK, X INSULT, B BRIBE, H HIRE, Y BUY, T THREATEN and P PROTECT. Some pictures seem to take an awfully long time to appear on the screen but, everything considered, I think if you liked Big Cave and so on, you’ll certainly warm to this one.
Difficulty: not easy
Input facility: verb/noun
Response: slow appearance of graphics
General rating: tries hard to be funny and very often succeeds