Hogan’s Alley (NES)

Hogan’s Alley Box Art

Hogan’s Alley

System: NES

Release Date: October 1985

Developer: Nintendo

Publisher: Nintendo

Genre: Light Gun Shooter

One of three Zapper games at launch, Hogan’s Alley was a favorite of mine as a child. There are three modes available for play. Games A and B are a shooting gallery, while Trick Shot is a different animal.

The six different targets.

There are six different targets that can pop up. Three gang members, which are the bad guys that you’re supposed to shoot. Three good guys, a lady, a professor, and a cop. I take umbrage with the portrayal of the professor… The cop has similar coloring to one of the gang members and the professor has a similar colored gang counterpart, as well.

Game A, I’d better not shoot the lady!

Game A has you in what I would consider a gun range. Three targets slide on stage in front of you and you have an ever shrinking amount of time to make the shot once the targets turn to face you. Sometimes only one target needs to be shot in the allotted time, other times two need to be shot. The time goes below a second, which makes recognizing how many and which ones need to be shot a bit hairy. You have up to 10 misses before you reach game over.

A gang member sliding to the right, another target will pop up in the door.

Game B has you in a shooting range town. In each section, five targets slide in and give you a small amount of time to shoot them. You have to be careful to not shoot the good guys, which can be a struggle when several are moving on screen at once. Like with Game A, you have 10 misses before you reach game over. A miss is recorded when you shoot a good guy and/or miss a bad guy.

Shooting cans into the 5000 point slot.

Game C is where I remember spending most of my time as a kid. This is the tin can trick shot. There are three holes on the left side of the screen with different scores. The cans are tossed in from the right side and you have to shoot them before they fall off the bottom of the screen. As the rounds increase, the cans come at you faster. Like Games A and B, you can miss 10 cans before you get a game over.

Graphics: 2.5

I don’t know, everything might be fairly plain, but it looks good to me. The targets look neat and the stage design in Game B looks pretty advanced.

Sound: 2.0

There’s not much when it comes to sound. You get the opening song. A ditty as you move between rounds. Gun shots and an annoying screech as the targets move around.

Gameplay: 2.5

Shoot the bad guys and cans for points, don’t shoot the good guys. It’s simple, but gets the job done.

Difficulty: 3.0

You’ll still shoot the good guys even though you know you don’t want to. It’s the right kind of difficulty, but with the sparse gameplay, you can master the game quickly.

Fun Factor: 2.5

I know it would be more fun with the actual Zapper, but I’m playing with a mouse and it’s alright, but not great.

Overall Grade: 2.5

Hogan’s Alley receiving a C+/B- is right to me. It’s a simple light gun game and it was a good 20 minute distraction back in the 80s.

Hogan’s Alley Video Review on YouTube

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