- Manufacturer: Jaleco
- Version: Nintendo Entertainment System
Let's set the scene: you've robbed a paint store and are now driving your getaway car through the triple-decker highways of New York City. The paint is leaking, and it leaves a trail on the road to show where you've been. Because of your crime you're being chased through the various scenic locales by the police, who you must do your best to avoid. Other obstacles will also hamper your journey.
In order to catch the boat for England, you must leak paint on every inch of the streets in New York. If you manage this task, the trip continues in five other cities: London, Paris, Frankfurt, Delhi and Tokyo. You can also move on by capturing three balloons, a faster and more efficient way to advance in this game.
The view is from the side, and you control your car as it drives to the left or right over the scrolling highways. The background is beautiful: for example, in New York you pass the Statue of Liberty; and in Paris, the Arc de Triomphe sits on the horizon. The "B" button allows your car to leap across the periodic chasms which appear on each level, and also to hop over obstacles. You must not stay on any level too long or a roadblock will wreck your car, and the breaks in the road give you the opportunity to move up or down from one tier to another. This takes some practice, since you can't jump right after changing directions.
Oil cans are strewn about the road, but thankfully they aren't there to block your movement; they can be picked up and placed in your inventory by driving over them. Each can is worth bonus points when you move the next location, so gathering them is important.
The hazards that cross your path are indeed difficult to work past, with cop cars being the most frequent. If you run into one, your car explodes. In your defense, the "A" button allows you to shoot the oil drums at your adversaries. For example, hitting a police car with a can will send it into a spin, leaving it open for a ramming - and providing a point bonus to you.
Cats are the other major obstacle. Ramming one will also cause you to lose a car, but the frustrating felines can be hopped over if you have enough room to jump. The problem with the cats is that they often appear in places where there is really no way to avoid them.
City Connection is an unusual game, which is unfortunately hampered by poor graphics. For instance, when there are a lot of cop cars on the screen, some flicker so badly that they are virtually invisible. Many times I've had my car seemingly self-destruct while driving through what I thought was a clear stretch of road, only to have a cop car appear from a faint outline. Additionally, while the concept is a clever one, there is virtually no variety from level to level aside from the change in background.
City Connection calls for fast reflexes, an extremely keen eye and the ability to change strategies in mid-jump. Further, it has a high degree of frustration because of the above-mentioned flickering and the need to paint every inch of the street before the number of obstacles multiply to the point where it becomes excessively difficult to finish a level. This game is a definite "try before you buy", but you may like it because of its novel nature. It's not just a copy of a hundred other games, but has a feature which is becoming all too rare - an original gaming concept.