VIDEO GAME DIGESTHogan's Alley
P.O. Box 957
Redmond, WA 98052
Nintendo Entertainment System
(Zapper Light Gun required)
by Bill Kunkel
Hogan's Alley brings Nintendo's own coin-op favorite to the NES. It also gives owners of the Zapper Light Gun something exciting to do with that weapon.
The game is based on the classic police test, in which the candidate moves down "Hogan's Alley," a simulated crime-infested block where potential disaster lurks in every window and doorway. Possible friends and foes pop up unexpectedly, testing the candidate's reaction time and discretion—to the max.
Hogan's Alley features three settings: Alley A, Alley B and Trick Shot. In the first, the player concentrates on three constantly rotating panels. These panels are "open" for target shooting for a very brief time. During that period, the player must determine whether the face which appears in each of these panels is a bad guy, a fellow cop, or an innocent bystander. If the face belongs to a crook, the player has a split second to fire before proceeding to the next panel to repeat the process.
Of course, everything happens in a heartbeat, with penalties incurred whenever the player either misses a bad guy or shoots a good guy. The panels move faster as the game progresses, so quick thinking is almost as important as straight shooting.
Any player who masters Alley A can confront Alley B, with its five dual-level panels. Master marksmen can then advance to the Trick Shooting mode. The machine "throws" cans onto the screen from the right edge. The player must shoot at these cans, keeping them wobbling through the air, and guide them over to the platforms on the left side of the screen.
The Zapper is a beautiful piece of weaponry. It looks lethal, fits even small hands comfortably, and has excellent accuracy. Adjustments of the TV's brightness and contrast are properly set. The ideal target range is six feet, but the actual distance to sit from the screen varies according to the size of the set's picture tube.
The graphics feature highly detailed drawings of the gangsters, cops and bystanders. Each face is unique. An especially clever effect signals each hit: hits make the target "card" spin around.
Hogan's Alley is a frenetic target game which should delight all Zapper-partisans. And the poor Duck Hunt targets will appreciate the rest.