Welcome back to the ’80s. You used to be a big shot detective, but you were involved in some bad things, so now you have been busted as low as you can be: a beat cop. Now you get to walk the streets, hand out parking tickets, catch some petty thieves, and maybe make enough money to live. Oh, yeah – while you’re at it, you might try to find out what really happened and clear your name.
This entry from 11 Bit Studios is not necessarily for the younger crowd; there are plenty of expletives, coarse jokes, and shady dealings. Since Beat Cop is from 11 Bit Studios, you also get all the wonderful, blocky, retro looks. That’s OK, but I wish we could find a better balance between detail and blocky with this whole retro-game-graphics thing.
There is only a little bit of run-up before the game throws you to the wolves (and the criminals on the street). You were involved in an investigation that included a prominent political figure, a robbery, and some missing valuables. You, of course, have taken the fall for some of the bad things, and have been demoted. On your fist day as a beat cop, then, your new comrades seem to take perverse pleasure in taking digs at you—so true-to-life on that score.
Once your department has been briefed by the sergeant it’s out on the streets with your shiny new ticket book. Your predecessor will show you around a bit and help introduce you to some of the locals. Keep your notebook handy, as there are a certain number of things you need to accomplish. There is a watch (digital, of course) to help you keep track of the day (you only have from 8 to 5 to get stuff done), your notepad, handcuffs, and a revolver.
Game play is accomplished with your mouse or track pad. There are actions you can take but only limited choices when it comes to dialogue or actions. There will be points where you get to choose whether to try to take a bribe to “not see” something, play courier for some extra income, and the like.
Getting your tasks done may not always be possible, and making enough money can be a real problem. To make matters worse, there are a few critical things you have to juggle: keep your boss happy (or at least not ready to kill you), keep your ex-wife paid, meet your ticket quota, catch bad guys, clear your name, etc.
It’s a lot to do in a day, but you are a cop and a detective (even if the force doesn’t want to call you one right now), so get out there and detect. Don’t worry if you get it wrong, though; the game includes a “rewind time” feature so you can go back to the last checkpoint and try a different course of action.
So Here It Is:
If you don’t mind dirty jokes, foul language, graft, and corruption, this is a decent game. There are plenty of ’80s references for the nostalgic types and enough dark humor to keep most cynics, erm… happy? You’ll need to engage in some hustle to get things done, and you’ll need to do some dedicated poking around to get to the bottom of things. You can even take a little pleasure in writing a ticket for that guy who parked in front of a fire hydrant.
Developer: Pixel Crow
Minimum Requirements: OS X v10.6, 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or 2.8GHz AMD Athlon X2, 2 GB RAM, dedicated graphics card
Availability: Now on Steam and GOG.com