Thanks to the efforts of the maniacal Mr. K, 21st Century Earth is on its becoming a thing of the past. This whacko's an expert in the field of artificial life who also happens to be missing a few marbles, and he's created a hostile horde of creatures to take control of the United Nations' futuristic industrial city, Atlantis.
Enter Ben and Andy, Special Forces Officers highly skilled at secret infiltration. At the U.N.'s request, they must plant a series of time bombs throughout Atlantis and blow it, Mr. K, and his evil brood to smithereens!
Get an Artificial Life
If you haven't already guessed, this action/shooter's a game built for two, but you can play solo. Either way, you'll have to bust some major moves to survive in the new, unimproved Atlantis. Made up of four main quadrants (each split into three areas), Atlantis is a maze-like city packed with security systems, which range from flaming fire pits to subterranean rocket-launchers.
- As you work your way around the cracks and holes which appear on the floors ol Stage Two, don't travel along the "wall" at the top of the screen. It's the pits.
Now that Mr. K's runnin' the town, the streets are patrolled by 11 species of gruesome artificial life forms such as the WallCutters and the Mandrills. Each of these robo-beasts has a unique set of robo-psychotic tendencies, so they toss chainsaws and deal out gut-wrenching body blows at the drop of a hat. Mind your back, front, and sides always!
Here's Lookin' Down at Ya!
Crack Down's a good-looking game that offers ka-boom with a view. The 360 degree overhead perspective is slick (and you don't find it in many Genesis titles).
A handy map in the right comer of the screen enables you to track your movements and indicates where you must place the bombs.
Overall the graphics feature plenty of sharp details, which is both good and bad. Although there are loads of 3-D special effects to keep your eyeballs happy, sometimes your man blends in so well you momentarily lose sight of him. And moments are precious when you're a moving target!
Tunes to Detonate By
Crack Down's music is groovy. Unfortunately Ben and Andy don't quite catch the beat. These guys' moves are a bit on the stiff side, which makes gameplay a little awkward. However, the formidable firepower, especially Machine Guns, Cannons, and Super Bombs, and the duo's unique ability to flatten themselves against the walls save Crack Down from total gameplay blahs.
- Use Super Bombs to blast through the electrically charged floor in Stage Three.
- Stay flat against the wall and you can inch past the rockets that lire out of the floor tiles in Stage Four.
Crack Down probably won't be one of the Genesis' all-time greatest hits, but it deserves an honorable mention. The graphics and the tunes are pretty darn good, and the cool overhead scrolling is a nice change of pace from Sega's usual side-scrolling action game fare. The best thing of all, however, is that it's an excellent two-player adventure. Crack Down gets down!
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
- Game modes: Single game mode
- Up, Down, Left, Right - Arrow keys
- Start - Enter (Pause, Menu select, Skip intro, Inventory)
- "A" Gamepad button - Ctrl (usually Jump or Change weapon)
- "B" button - Space (Jump, Fire, Menu select)
- "C" button - Left Shift (Item select)
Use the F12 key to toggle mouse capture / release when using the mouse as a controller.
- Machine: Sega
If you're looking for something a bit more understated but just as exciting, there's Crackdown, a Sega arcade game translated for the Genesis by Sage's Creation. Set in the 21st century, Crackdown is the story of an evil scientist who develops artificial life forms - or ALCs, for Artificial Living Creatures - and plots world domination. As one of two Special Service agents, Ben Breaker or Andy Attacker, it's your mission to plant timed explosives at strategic points (marked with big red X's) throughout the enemy's stronghold.
As in the arcade version, you view the action from overhead in a graphics window that's about one-fourth the size of the screen. Two people can play at once, each with their own window. As you move from one red X to another, you'll face a staggering variety of enemies and obstacles. After planting your explosives on each X, you must escape the level before the timers on your bombs go off.
Each maze like level is more congested than the last. To help you get past the enemy ALCs, you're equipped with a machine gun, a cannon, and a limited supply of smart bombs. The bombs are amazingly powerful, capable of destroying all the enemies on the screen.
The most obvious drawback in Crackdown is the very tiny size of the characters. The top part of the screen is occupied by information readouts and a map. Only the graphics windows show the action, and in this small space you view nearly half of the entire level. But even though Crackdown doesn't scratch the surface of the Genesis' graphics potential, it's an easy game to get drawn into.
Finally, there's the latest game from DreamWorks: Trampoline Terror! It's the story of a once-happy planet menaced by an evil empire. The empire has surrounded the planet with a gridlike fortress of trampolines and sidewalks. Only by pressing the switches located at various places on the grid can you destroy the fortress.
You are Trampoline Terror, a gifted gymnast. Your mission is to leap all over the giant trampoline, trying to throw switches to clear each of the game's 33 levels. You have to avoid the different creatures that try to stop you and be careful not to fall from the grid to the planet below.
Trampoline Terror! is a far cry from the violent Sword of Sodan - there's no blood to speak of, and the gentle, cartoonish characters frustrate rather than frighten. But the game is very challenging and absorbing, and should appeal to players of all ages. It's a nice change of pace.
- Levels: 5
- Theme: Action
- Players: 1-2
- Difficulty: Average
The world's crime rate is increasing very rapidly day by day. Take a friend along as you travel through the city cleaning up the vermin lurking around the corners.
A mysterious artificial life system has landed on Earth and taken over. In desperation, the government decided to try out the military's Special Time Bomb in hopes that it's powerful enough to destroy the enemy headquarters. It's going to take a highly skilled agent (or agents in the two player setting) to successfully penetrate the building, plant the bombs, and get out of the room before you get blown up! Big, confusing and very heavily guarded, it's going to take cutting edge skills, not to mention guts, to find your way through the building's four mufti-roomed quadrants.