Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Budget Day - Train Robbers (Commodore 64)

I'm heading back in time again for this latest game, but whereas I played a good guy in Kane, this time I'm playing a positively bad guy in the form of Cactus Pete, in Firebird's Train Robbers.

Cactus Pete is fairly prolific as robbers go... he's currently worth $4,000, which is no small amount of cash.  That doesn't concern Pete, though... he's constantly on the lookout for more trains to rob, and more lovely lolly.  And you're going to help him.

It's a dangerous business, train robbing.  First of all, you have to actually get on the train.  When you're a robber, you can't just buy a ticket.  Pete's method of entry is a little less straightforward.  He leaps onto his trusty steed and waits by the railway line.  When the train comes buy, he leaps from his horse, climbs the train's ladder, and runs along the rooftop to the cargo carriage at the back of the train.

That sounds like a piece of cake, but you try jumping a gap on a train at 80 miles per hour.  It's tricky.  It's even trickier when you consider that the railway cuts through a number of hills, meaning there are tunnels aplenty.  If Pete doesn't duck in time... well, it doesn't bear thinking about.

Sneak!  Sneak!  Sneak!
When (if) Pete makes it to the loot car, he can fill his boots.  All he has to do is climb down the ladder inside the car, pick up the two keys, unlock the safe and make off with his stash.  Oh, and avoid the two vicious dogs that patrol the carriage...

Should Pete manage to empty the safe without being bitten, he'll find himself back on top of the train.  Now he needs to get back to the front of the train where his horse will be waiting for him.  It's another tricky journey, with mailboxes to jump over or duck under.  Still, with all that adrenalin running from having completed another successful heist, that should pose no problem at all!

Is it dark in here, or is it just me?
Train Robbers is a funny little game.  It's funny as in odd, and funny as in amusing.  It has some great touches... the way the screen goes black and you can only see Pete's eyes when you go through a tunnel is particularly funny.  It's pretty tricky, too... I can say in all honesty that I've never managed to get back on my horse after a robbery, not in 1988 and not in 2013.  But I played it quite a bit, and it remains an entertaining little budget game.

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