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3 Stars IFReview Rating Mean Streets

IFReviewed by Tom Zuchowski on 2006-05-13 10:33 

Game Profile

Author
Thomas Tetirick

Idiom
English

Authoring System
Eamon

Release Year
1990

IFR Overall Rating
3 Stars IFR Overall Rating
Separator

MAIN PGM Version: 5

Extra Commands: RIDE, VERBOSE, BRIEF, OPEN, READ

Deleted Commands: None

Special Features: short EAMON.ROOMS record lengths, no DOS on disk

Playing Time: 60-90 minutes

Reviewer Rating: 3.0

Description: "Welcome to 'Mean Streets' Your task is a valiant one. A pimp has moved into our fair city. He has full intention of making it his own. To insure his wishes he has kidnapped my only daughter 'Tina'. He intends to turn her into one of his prostitutes.

"As mayor of this city I give you full power to rid our city of this vile man(pimp) by any means you see fit. Also it is rumored that a huge thug is hiding out in the subway killing people at any given chance. We would very much appreciate his extermination. Also be on the lookout for thieves, they are know to be lurking when you least expect them."

Comment: This is a very large map of a small 5-block by 5-block city. It has 97 rooms, but there is no need to map it because it is so orderly and because there isn't much of anything to go back to after you've entered a room.

I was very much reminded of "The Shopping Mall" while playing this, as most of it's "rooms" are empty streets, and most of the buildings are uninteresting one-room affairs with no more to offer than a touch of combat, if that.

This is an icky city, showcasing the warts and problems that any city has without offering any countering uplifting content. I found myself wondering if Thomas was a high-school student (or perhaps dropout) who was no stranger to run-ins with the Law.

Having said all that, I have to add that it didn't get a higher rating for a two-pronged reason: it uses no screen pauses at all, and you will pick up as many as two entire screensfull of companions. Thomas addressed that with two new commands. VERBOSE prints everything (as if you had typed LOOK) at a slow speed that is easy to read and takes quite a while to print. BRIEF prints at normal high speed, prints just the room name, and omits the normal space between monster names. Either method will drive you nuts, though for different reasons. I found that the best way for me was to leave it in BRIEF, and to liberally use the control-S key to pause printing so I could read stuff before it was shot off the top by the companion listing or the combat text.

There are so many characters that I almost always had to do a SMILE to find out which one was the enemy when I entered a room, because I couldn't remember all the names of my companions.

One cute special is a thief who will steal everything you have (except your ready weapon) every 10 moves or so. It got terribly annoying to see the accompanying "OOOH NOOO!" message, and almost pushed me down to a (2) rating all by itself. Don't worry about your stuff; enter the dumpster at 3rd & Tyler, and you'll get it all back and do away with the thief as well. But be sure to READY your best weapon as soon as you start the adventure, so it won't be stolen.

I was not able to get past one door without cheating. Thomas used a brute-force programming approach that gave nearly all of the artifacts no location until they were actually needed (for example, if monster X dies, then change weapon Y's location from zero to the room number.) I could not find any code that made the door key available. But all you will find behind it is one enemy and one treasure.

One very elaborate and rather stupid death trap. Difficulty of (3) if you're using high-grade weapons.

Here's a hint: how do you find out if an open mailbox has anything in it? Also, if you get killed and want to restart the game, be sure to type SPEED=255 before typing RUN, or else it might take 10 minutes for the game to load!

Used with Matthew Clark's kind permition.
Original review available at Eamon Adventurer's Guild Online website.

    Tom Zuchowski Profile

    Name Tom Zuchowski
    Gender Male

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