TC's arrived to join the rest of the Hanna- Barbera computerised cartoon characters with Beverly Hills Cats. In this action packed cartoon adventure you take control of TC and have to explore three interlinked levels looking for members of your gang, objects to help you and milk bottles to top up your energy.
The object of the game is to rescue poor Benny The Ball from the clutches of an evil butler and find the rightful heir to an old lady's fortune. You start in the alley, inhabited by vicious skateboarders, hedgehogs with sharp spikes and exploding bombs. Walking around the semi-30 screens is soon mastered and you can get down to solving the puzzles. The other two levels are Beverly Hills and the mansion, each with their own puzzles and nasties.
There are plenty of objects to pick up, even rubbish is useful - you get extra points for putting it in the bin. Be careful what you're putting in your pocket though, there are rotten apples and sour milk which eat away at your all important energy.
The game is visually very good with recognisable characters and a lot of colour, even it it's a little blotchy in places. The initial puzzles are not very difficult, but they do get harder the further into the game you get. Top Cats In Beverly Hills Cats is another great game from Hi-tec All fans of the cartoon will love it.
If you ever came round to my house, knocked on the door and said "Hey, Rich, what's this Top Cat game all about then?" then I'd probably say something like this...
"Top Cat is yet another one of those flip-screen collect-'em-up maze games, not too unlike another 30,000,000 games, including most of Hi-Tec's cartoon licences of late. Benny the Ball has gone missing, and you have to go and get him back, so the first thing to do is to find the rest of the members of the gang, whilst avoiding the nasties (y'know, hedgehogs, squirting fire hydrants and stuff) and collecting objects to allow you to progress further. The puzzles however are all pretty obvious (pick up the key to open the gate and so forth), and avoiding the baddies isn't too tricky either as they walk around in set patterns. So with a little practice you can avoid colliding, although the weird 3D effect does its best to confuse you at first. The only real hazard is if you touch a skateboarder, as some steal the objects you are carrying and stick them back in the maze, and also if you lose too much energy at once as one of your chums which you have collected might run off so you'll have to go back to get him again.
As in the case for most of Hi-Tec's other cartoon licences, they seem to have spent so much time getting the graphics to look right (TC really is adorable), that they've forgotten to write much game. There's not enough action going on - it's easy to avoid all the baddies, it's not fast enough for a straight maze game, and the puzzles are a bit easy and far between. You could certainly do a lot worse with three quid (lose it for example), but I'm sure with little effort you could do a lot, lot better, especially with all these re-releases around at the moment." That's probably what I'd say.
Top Cat! Dum-de-dum-de-dum - Top Cat! He's jolly marvellous... oh yes, I remember all the words to the song, and have many happy childhood memories of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon adventures of Top Cat.
TC's arch enemy Officer Dibble and his assortment of low life feline friends join him for this romp through the alley ways of New York, but HiTec's first licenced Top Cat game adventure starts with the lads transferred to the swankier environment of Beverly Hills. Benny the Ball having inherited a mansion when the real heiress, Amy, went missing. But rather than lounge around the pool all day cat napping, the gang set out to find Amy and restore her inheritance... all together, aaaaah!
The action starts in an environment where TC's at home - a sleazy alley scattered with wrecked cars, infested with scuttling rats and littered with garbage. It's a fairly straightforward maze based arcade adventure with some nice colourful background graphics, fair animation, fast clean screen-flipping and reasonable unambitious sound effects (you don't seem to get a rendition of the Top Cat theme, which is a pity).
There's not much challenge in avoiding the hazards of the alleyways, but there are puzzles to solve which provide most of the entertainment. Like, on his quest to round up his gang, how does TC get past Crusher the dog? Giving him a bone seems to be the answer, but to find the bone you have to get past locked doors, avoid careering skateboarders who steal objects from you, and try to avoid getting squashed by slamming doors, rolling dust bins and tyres, and squirting fire hydrants.
At the bottom of the screen is a display showing TC's energy as a diminishing pint of milk; this can be topped up by finding new bottles, but watch out for sour milk which will lose you energy. If you lose energy too fast, any members of the gang you have collected may take fright and run off.
You get bonus points for placing garbage in bins or for collecting fruit, but again watch out for sour apples; these will either slow you down or reverse your joystick controls for a short period. The objects you have collected, such as banana skins, keys, cans and bones, are shown in a series of windows at the bottom of the screen; to drop one, you hold down the fire button, move the highlight to the object required, and press fire again.
In later levels TC has to explore the area around Beverly Hills until he finds his way to the mansion, then locate the missing Amy while avoiding the evil butler Snerdly.
That's all folks - decent arcade adventure which does justice to a classic cartoon character at a bargain price.
Program By: Dave Thompson & Richard Morton
Reviewer: Chris Jenkins
No pussy footing around with this one! It's a clean and competent sniffing-and-pouncing game.
Ol' TC and his gang are back, to save Benny the Ball from becoming cat food at the hands of a dastardly butler. Previous Hi-Tec licenses have been a bit of a mixed bag, but this is quite a laugh, with some really nice graphics, and an addictive nature that keeps dragging you back for "one more go". Check it out!
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