AtariJaguar.Net Lynx Reviews
Type: Arcade
Orientation: Horizontal
Number of players: 1
Review by John DeLuna

If your less than 16 years old, A.P.B. is probably a game you've never heard of. And even if you are, you *still* might be clueless. A.P.B. is one of those "old school" eighties classic. So what's it about? And what does A.P.B. stand for? stands for "All Points Bulletin". A.P.B.'s are sent out to all policemen whenever a major crime occurs. More accurately...when a suspect is on the loose. And that's really what the game, A.P.B., is all about. You're a simple patrolman with dreams of glory. And when the bulletin goes out for a're on it. And boy, oh boy is this game a TRIP. After a quick training session you're given your first A.P.B. Your goal...bring in the baddie, *and* fill your quota of lesser criminals for the day. Those can include litterers, roadhogs, and drunks. The game is presented from a "bird's eye view". Just imagine a high speed chase filmed by a helicopter. But how do you know which car belongs to a criminal? Simple, baddies drive certain color cars (they also drive VERY recklessly)). The the big-time criminal, the one who deserved an A.P.B., is driving a *very* distinct car. It's all a matter of patience. But in order to keep up your search, you'll have fuel both your car *and* your body. That means gas stops are a must. And to plenty of donuts(!) to keep you going. Everything about A.P.B. is a riot, it's full of cliched cop jokes. Even the hot-headed police chief, complete with steam-spewing ears! There's just one problem, A.P.B. just doesn't *fit* on a portable. I'll explain later...

GRAPHICS: A.P.B. has average visuals at best. It's a direct port of the arcade, which is over 15 years old. And frankly, it shows. The sprites are small and without much detail. Yet, the cartoony screen shots, like your confrontations with the chief, and the actual A.P.B.'s are wonderful. And the game's colors are well done. When you recieve your A.P.B you presented a picture of both the outlaw *and* his car. Which is GREATLY appreciated. But there's no doubt the Lynx is being held back. ***1/2

SOUND: Now *this* is the stuff. The opening theme rocks and catchy music is played throughout your patrol. Whenever an A.P.B. goes out, classic "sneaky/evil" music is played. And the police sirens are dead on. ****

CONTROL: This could've used some tweaking. You see, in order to arrest any criminal, you've got to sound the siren *and* hit him with this crosshair thingy. The button that controls the sirens is different than the gas pedal. Which means you've got to hold the gas button and *then* press the siren button. Hmm...your expected to hold two buttons with one thumb, hold the Lynx with the same hand, AND steer with the other hand. What a mess. **

REPLAY: A.P.B. gets killed here. There's no password system. Which means you've gotta start over each time you play. And considering any level can take up to five minutes, you'll lose interest before level three. *

Well...I think those last two features explain my rating. A.P.B is flat out deficient in control and replay aspects. What makes it even more frustrating is the fact *both* deficiencies are a result of the Lynx format. The controls wouldn't be a problem if you had a joystick. And the lack of a password system wouldn't be nearly as bad on a home console. When your sitting down to a console game you've got time to play through. But a portable game demands a fast pace. And A.P.B. requires time to fully enjoy it. Don't get me wrong, A.P.B. is a *wonderful* game. It's great fun. Just find it on another format.




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