Howdsa bout dis for a deally doriginat (original sdupid) intraduction to dis here game and da course I wand da heaters off, afda all it dis Djuly. I could go on but my chewing gum is running out so let's just leave the smart alec accent and get stuck into this one. Yes, it's the sequel to Mafia Contract by the same author, from the same company (not always a certainty these days) and at the same price. If anything, this game is better then its predecessor and so I can see it featuring in SIGNPOST just as much as the first one. The graphics are just that step up from Mafia I and the puzzles, and the story which links them, are a real pleasure.
Again you are in Don Capolla's gang whose territory runs throughout the dark back alleys and creeping fire escapes of the Big Apple, housing the biggest den of thieves east of Chicago. In the first program, Capolla's own son had gone down and you were one of the suspects behind his untimely demise. Once again, this is a Quilled game but the theme, story and its interpretation distances it from the usual run-of-the-mill release.
You are in trouble, yet again, but what else would you expect being Capolla's henchman? Last year you assassinated a rival gang leader for your boss and as a reward he has taken you into his confidence as his Number One personal adviser and bodyguard. Capolla's regime is now being threatened by a powerful gang led by Vito Rossi. Capolla has panicked and gone into hiding but not before putting out a contract on anyone he fears, including you. Not being one for half measures, and stirred on by your successes, you have decided to kill both Rossi and Capolla. If you can pull this off you are then free to get the documents detailing Capolla's Mafia gunmen, and will be able to seize control of the entire city. You find yourself in Capolla's mansion which is being raided by Rossi's gunmen. To progress any further you have to escape them and put into effect your ambitious plan.
Impressive is the way the program introduces itself with varying loading screens and sound effects a good omen for what turns out to be a well-polished game. The pictures are slowly drawn but a definite notch up on the standard of the first Mafia game. RAM SAVE and LOAD are very useful as it is in the nature of this type of game that danger lurks around every corner (just for the record RAM LOAD will take you back to your SAVEd position as many times as you like before the computer is switched off). The character set is pleasantly redesigned and the game is generally attractive and well laid out.
There are some unusual screens, one with CRASH scrawled right across it, and another with ZAP. I'll leave you to find out where you come across these two but suffice to say its when something goes wrong! Only being able to carry four things at a time causes you one or two headaches in the time-honoured fashion, but generally the game is most playable and flows along nicely. Many times you find all manner of doors locked (getting the keys early on is recommended) and so I appreciated the humour when trying to bolt it out of the mansion in the car before me: 'You won't believe this, but it's locked'.
Mafia Contract II is a really good game for the price. Some of the problems are a little easy or hackneyed but overall the game is quite a good run around.
Input Facility: verb/noun
An instant brownie point for Mafia Contract II, a graphic adventure from Atlantis: it has a Ram Save that allows you to instantly store any position just before you do something that feels like it might be disastrous.
Such a facility improves an adventure's playability around 20 per cent in one fell swoop.
Praise awarded, it has to be said Mafia Contract isn't graphically much to enthuse about, most of the location illustrations are simple looking affairs, all straight edges and simple shapes. They also take ages to draw though there is, thankfully, an option to turn them off.
The adventure itself is a bit of a curate's egg. I liked the way it began relatively simply and the occasional sound effects. But I hated the way sometimes whether you die or not is a pure lucky dip - you get two choices, make the wrong one and it's instant death.
The plot is moderately original. The game opens with you a Godfather recluse in your enormous mansion. You're in hiding since you gave a rival gang leader a St Valentine's Day present he'd never forget. The game begins in the thick of an assault on your hideout by mobsters from another gang. You see them storm the landing on your TV monitors, you see your boys being cut down, the door is locked. What do you do now?
It soon becomes obvious how to get out of the room and after dying a couple of times you'll soon figure out how to rub out the guys on the landing. My complaint is that there is not that much by way of genuine intelligent puzzles requiring logic and patience. Instead you get the lucky dip win or die choices. That's not reasoning, that's luck.
Not a bad plot, a few nice touches (like the machine gun effects when you rub out the boys), naff graphics and nothing for the serious adventurer to get his or her teeth into. Quite a good introductory adventure for novices, however.
Author: Neil Smyth
Reviewer: Graham Taylor
SUPPLIER: Atlantis Software Ltd
MACHINE: Spectrum 48K
This is the sequel to Mafia Contract, in which your boss, Don Capolla, has been threatened by Vito Rossi's men. He has panicked, gone into hiding, and put out a contract on everyone he fears including you.
Your objective is to kill Capolla and Rossi, then go on to find documents about Capone's gunmen, which will give you control of the city.
There is no time to lose, for even as you enter the game, Rossi's men are raiding Capolla's mansion, in which you sit at your office desk. Out of the room, down the corridor, and as you reach the top of the stairs. There they are in the lobby below, spraying you with bullets. No spare moves to experiment - get it right or die!
Out of the mansion then, and watch out for Rossi's men lurking in the bushes, waiting in ambush. Perhaps the armour-plated car? But the gates of the drive are shut.
Outside the grounds with no transport, beware! They'll pepper you with bullets in a bus, given half the chance!
The pace is fast in this cleverly constructed adventure, and many of the pitfalls are foreseeable. It's learning how to behave as a gangster, and making sure you have the equipment to do it, that provides the puzzles to back the excitement.
This is a graphic adventure, and the only thing that slows it down, are the full-screen pictures which precede some of the locations. In others, there are mini graphics, which display instantly. Just as effective as the full pictures, even these don't match the bold, cartoon-style BANG and CRASH screens, which appear from time to time, and strangely enough, add to the atmosphere rather than destroy it.
The anti-violence brigade will be best advised to avoid this one, but if you fancy a cracking good blood and guts adventure, you find this hard to beat.
At the ridiculous price of £1.99, it's a must!
If you don't see it in your local store, add 36p for P&P (43p for two games, free for three or more), and order direct from Atlantis Software Ltd., 19 Prebend Street, London, N1 8PF.
All information in this page is provided by ZXSR instead of ZXDB