Dick Tracy (NES)

Dick Tracy (NES) Box Art

Dick Tracy

System: NES

Release Date: August 1990

Developer: Realtime Associates

Publisher: Bandai

Genre: Action

Put Big Boy Caprice away once and for all as you fill the shoes of Dick Tracy! It’s not as easy as nabbing the boss and putting him behind bars, you have to connect him to some crimes first. Follow the clues and solve five capers that will have you driving, punching, and shooting bad guys.

You start in your office with a tip off to a new crime. As an ace detective, you need to take a look at the information available to you in the mug shots and put two and two together. When you have an idea of where to go, hop into your police cruiser and head to your destination. Streets are labeled by number going west to east and letter going south to north. Therefore, 1&A would be at the bottom left and 9&J would be at the top right of the map. The town isn’t completely calm, as snipers are located on the roofs of buildings all around town. You can hop out of the car and shoot them to eliminate them from your life.

When you reach the building you want, hop out and enter to move to a side scrolling level. Two types of enemies await you here. Some thugs have guns and others do not. You can shoot gun toting enemies with your trust hand gun or Tommy Gun if you’ve found it. Unarmed thugs, on the other hand, must be punched into oblivion, unless you want to lose health. There are no extra lives, so a death sends you back to the beginning of the latest case.

Sometimes you have to collect a clue, which requires you to punch where indicated. In order to reach these points, you may have to jump around or climb ropes or pipes (50:50). Other times, a bad guy will try to take off in their car and your next task is to gun them down! There’s quite a rogue’s gallery at play and when you run into one, you can interrogate or arrest them. If they’ve something to do with the caper at hand, you’ll get the next clue. If you try to arrest them without uncovering all the clues, you’ll receive a reprimand. Too many reprimands over the course of your game will send you to a game over.

Big Boy doesn’t go down without a fight. In fact, if you don’t have an idea of where he’d be hiding, you’re going to have to look in every address until you find him. Spoiler alert: Find him at the Ritz. This is an incredibly busy level, full of Tommy Gun toting enemies and falling safes. If you’ve been hoarding tear gas, you’ll be a lot happier. Once you catch up with Big Boy, he confesses everything and you get the congratulations.

Graphics: 2.5

There are a lot of different colors and just enough detail in levels to not look bad. Portraits look good and are animated.

Sound: 2.5

Music is good and sound effects are fine.

Gameplay: 2.5

Everything controls fine. Switching weapons with the Select Button can be a problem.

Difficulty: 3.0

It’s pretty fair until the very end with Big Boy’s hideout. There are some cheap enemy placements in levels, but you can get them if you don’t rush in.

Fun Factor: 2.5

I enjoyed myself. It’s not the greatest game or anything, but it’s totally playable.

Overall Rating: 2.6

Dick Tracy earns a B-. This is one of those games that gets a lot of hate because of AVGN, but it’s totally unwarranted. This is an above average title and one you should try.

Dick Tracy Video Review on YouTube