This was the “judging the book by its cover” of the poor, or in this case, of the pirates, since we weren’t looking at game's boxes on shelves, but just at a list. At the time, only my cousin Walter The Baptist had a better understanding of English than just the basic words like Megatron or Soundwave. This was very convenient for him, especially since it gave him extra tools to manipulate other people’s choices when it came to buying games.
I’m almost sure that this game was another one of Walter’s strange ideas, since no sane kid would find the prospect of literally cleaning streets to be very enticing. Either he sold us very well the concept of digitally cleaning streets, or lied, and found a way to put some Ninja Turtles somewhere in there. I don’t really recall who forked the cash, but most probably it wasn’t him.
The details on this game are mostly lost on me, and probably for a good reason, since it’s very hard to find information about it online and I don’t recall ever reading about it on a magazine. There’s no mention of it on Lemon Amiga, and Hall of Light only features two reviews, being one of them on an Australian magazine and the other on a magazine called “Info”. Yes, Info. Don’t ask.
So, this is the most obscure stuff so far on the blog, and I haven’t got to the point yet of trying to find the ADF’s for it. It’s possible that all these past paragraphs were in vain.
Ok, easier than I thought. So let’s get on with it.
Before the title screen we get to know that this game has quite a pedigree. Broderbund, of Prince of Persia fame (and other great games) is the publisher, and Silmarils (of Ishar fame) is the developer. It’s also possible that this is the black sheep (also known as the “Saint Anger”) of these software houses.
The title screen of the game offers us the chance of reading the instructions, and those are hilarious. I’ve never seen such low-key, unepic story told with such lack of awareness. Well, read for yourself how burning the drugs will give the player life points. The control instructions prepare us the worst, with pearls such as “Be careful, right and left depend on the direction you are facing”.
The game is one of those side scrolling brawlers that were so popular in the eighties. Renegade and Double Dragon are probably the most obvious comparisons, but the controls in Operation Clean Streets are the probably the worst I had to endure in my whole life. I wouldn’t bother to explain them if the developers weren’t so nice to include them in a single screen. Check them for yourself.
It’s curious that the game was released on other platforms such as the C64 as “Manhattan Dealers”. This doesn’t look anything like the Manhattan I see in movies and TV Shows. And they say gentrification is a bad thing. People who say that never lived next to nazis with chainsaws.
Luckily, I didn’t had to play much, and I only hope that I wasn’t the one that paid for this in 1990. Yes, that is the kind of stuff that could take a night’s good sleep away from me twenty six years later.