Red Heat

by Special FX Software Ltd: James Bagley, Charles Davies
Ocean Software Ltd
Crash Issue 90, July 1991   (1991-06-20)   page(s) 44

Viktor Rostavilli is not a very nice man. In fact he's the head of Russia's biggest drugs ring. But not to worry, he's about to receive his just rewards 'cos Captain Ivan Danko (big Arnie Schwarzywotsit in the Red Heat movie), one of Moscow's top cops, is on his case.

You play the part of Ivan who chases Rostavilli through the four different levels that make up the game. The first takes you to a sauna, where a bunch of Rostavilli henchmen are after your blood. You're weaponless but can punch and headbutt your assailants. As they hit you your energy level slowly depletes - if it reaches zero you're carried out in a bodybag.

The second level takes you to a hospital where, armed with your favourite gun, you can merrily blast away to your heart's content (well, not quite - ammo's limited).

The action's certainly fast and furious, but it's also very tough. For many games Ivan ended up flat on his back and I swore very loudly. But a bit of practice soon sorted out the glitches and it was blasting action all the way. In short, Red Heat is well worth considering.


Overall: 80%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Crash Issue 65, June 1989   (1989-05-25)   page(s) 12,13

Are you well 'ard?! (gnuk!!) I mean real 'ard? So 'ard it takes a herd of stampeding rhinos to even make you consider thinking about worrying? then you're the man/woman/small cute animal for the job! Because in Red Heatyou have to be as hard as the star - ex-Mr Universe, Arnold Schwarzenegger!

You're tough Russian detective Danko (Arnie), out to smash an evil drugs ring run by Viktor Rostavili. The game's split over lour levels of combat action, with a subgame in each, taking Danko through different scenes. The first is set in one of Moscow's hot houses (a sauna).

Danko enters to be set upon instantly by a barrage of Rostavili's thugs. But without a weapon you've got to deal with them in hand-to-hand combat (ie: bashing the living daylights out of them!). The only two really useful moves are thump and duck. And every time you're bashed, which happens very often, energy is lost from your stregnth bar at the top of the screen.

As you progress through each of the four episodes, the graphic backdrops scroll horizontally. Now, you may be thinking from the screen shots, that the oblong playing area is such an odd shape. Well, yes it is! However this also gives an effectively-wider playing area and a cinematic feel to the game. Get used to it and the effect works well.

On each level there are bonus stages, indicated by a floating 'B' icon onscreen. Entering these takes you into a sub-game to play for extra points. On the first level it's a mega-waggle to crush a hot rock, on the second a puzzle as you attempt to rebuild a broken key.

Each level is loaded individually and on the second, third and fourth levels you have a gun to blast the thugs to smitherines, though there's a limited supply of ammo. The action goes on from the sauna into a hospital, crawling with vicious nurses, then onto a hotel and finally into a goods yard where, alter bashing Rostavili's entire army of reprobates, you meet the man himself. If you want to complete the game you have to finish him off - and this, crimebusters, is no easy task at all!

The graphics throughout Red Heat are incredibly detailed and work really well. The only let down is the serious lack of colour - it's white on black the whole way through - even a splash of colour around the border of the playing area would have brightened up the proceedings.

If lack of colour doesn't worry you and you're just in it for the furious addictive action - and even with three lives, it's a real toughie - Red Heat is well worth spending some time on.


'Has Arnie Schwarzenegger ever thought of setting up his own software company to cope with all the games he stars in? Red Heat's presentation is unusual and really quite good: a large Red Heat logo scrolls across the screen with some groovy border effects on either side to make it look a bit more flashy. But it's such a pity the rest of the game is pretty darn naff. The main game consists of a waist up sprite of Arnie and various scrolling backgrounds that vaguely resemble the film. Nasty people with guns and very hard fists walk along and hit you a lot. Red Heat could provide some fun if you are a wiz at beat-'em-ups, but the lack of gameplay prevents it from being a 'great'.'

Presentation: 80%
Graphics: 70%
Sound: 77%
Playability: 68%
Addictive Qualities: 76%
Overall: 74%

Summary: Several sub-games add to the furious addictive action but doubtful gameplay.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 43, July 1989   page(s) 31

Incredible though it may seem, here is the Ocean game of that muscular relief cream. Red Heat! (No, you idiot! That's Deep Heat. Ed) Hem, hem, sorry readers! In fact, what we have here is a conversion of the movie Red Heat, the tough comedy thriller starring Arnie Schwarzenegger and James Belushi.

Just in case you haven't seen the movie, Arnie plays mean Rusky cop Captain Ivan Danko, Head of Moscow's Homicide Division, and Jim Belushi plays a wacky Chicago cop who teams up with him. Their combined talents are up against one man who certainly doesn't 'just say no', wicked Viktor Rostavili. He's the fiendish Russian drugs baron whose collar our Arnie wants to feel! (Oo-er!) Viktor has now moved to Chicago (My kind of town, Chicago is..') (Shut up! Ed) and our heroes are in hot pursuit.

This is the game scenario... 'cos Red Heat the computer game follows the plot pretty closely. You get to play Danko, punching, shooting and head-butting out loadsa baddies on your way to the final showdown with Viktor. Jim Belushi is reduced to a cameo role as a little sprite who moves swiftly across the screen waving his hands about in Al Jolson fashion. Red Heat has been converted for Ocean by Special FX, the Liverpool based company who did such a skill job on Batman - The Caped Crusader. This game too features nice big clear, yet detailed, monochrome graphics, smooth scrolling and much of the company's (now) familiar, quirky sense of humour. The screen shows a horizontally scrolling cinema type pic with the characters visible only from the waist up, and is a tad sparse for my liking. Only half the area is occupied by the game and the rest, apart from small scales representing energy levels and bullets, is blank.

Arnie walks (or at least his torso does!) in a fashion reminiscent of the Batman sprite. On the right hand side he moves left and right, whilst trillions of baddies, head-butters, karate choppers, gunmen, cripples (sic), transvestite nurses (!), and the villainous 'Cleanheads' - the gang in Viktor's pay - all come in on the left to try and pop your clogs! Viktor comes on prior to his fight to have a potshot at you. Since he darts on pretty speedily from left, Arnie's fists can't reach him. There is however the opportunity to shoot him a couple of times in order to weaken him for the final showdown.

There are four levels and within each there are one or two sub games. Every now and then, you will come across a 'B' icon and by collecting these you get either more energy, more bullets, or entry to a sub game. Oh, and beware, there are also bad icons. These will suddenly pelt you with an energy-draining 'snowstorm'! Success in the sub games will give you more points, energy and/or bullets.

No arcade adventure type pick-up-and-use objects here. Instead this is a straightforward horizontally scrolling monochrome beat/shoot 'em up. Apart from the absence of Arnie's legs, the graphics are nice and clear, with big sprites and loads of detail. There is a wide range of adversaries, and the sub games add variety. All those transvestites and gory gunshot wounds contribute to a fun tongue-in-cheekiness that makes for an addictive and appealing game.

Life Expectancy: 75%
Instant Appeal: 83%
Graphics: 85%
Addictiveness: 90%
Overall: 85%

Summary: Jaw-socking stuff.Quirky and clear with a lot of variety but only a half-sized 'envelope' screen.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 68, August 1991   page(s) 61

Davey Wilson reviewed this film tie-in beat-'em - up as a full pricer a couple of years back, and I still pretty much agree with everything he said.

Red Heat was that tough comedy thriller starring Arnie Schwarzenegger and James Belushi. In the game, you get to play Arnie, punching, shooting and head-butting your way to the final showdown with Viktor, the big baddy, Davey told us this at the beginning of his review, and I certainly agree with him there. He also happened to mention that Red Heat features nice big clear, yet detailed, monochrome graphics, smooth scrolling and even a sense of humour. And you can't argue with that. However, as all gameplay takes place through a horizontally-scrolling cinema-type pic with the characters visible only from the waste up, the remains of the screen were a tad sparse for Davey's liking, and (agreeably) mine also.

More explanations of the actual content of the game came next, referring to such delights as the four levels, the subgames entered by collecting icons and the variety of baddies (a bit of a 'Dave Rave' apparently). And finally, no doubt exhausted by this point, Davey concluded in that brilliant way only Davey knew how - "This is a straightforward horizontally-scrolling monochrome beat/shoot-'em-up. The graphics are clear with big sprites and detail. There is a wide range of adversaries, and the subgames add variety. All in all, an addictive and appealing game". And. once again, I just have to agree with him. Then he awarded it 85'. But I reckon that it's just a trifle too thin and repetitive, so I'm going to give it 76' instead. (Hope you don't mind, Davey.)

Overall: 76%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 87, June 1989   page(s) 12,13

He's big. He's mean. He's got a spikey haircut. But that's enough about Jim - what about the game he commanded me to review, Red Heat?

The latest in a long line of Arnie Schwarzenegger movie conversions - remember Predator, Running Man, and, er, that's it really - Red Heat sticks pretty closely to the plot of the fillum. In which a Russian cop (Red Heat, geddit?) comes to America to track down a ruthless gang of drug smugglers who've offed his partner. Arnie's character is SO HARD that he can juggle hot coals, punch thousands of people and shoot his huge pistol dozens of times without ruffling his startling spikey haircut, and this aspect of the film is well represented in the game.

Oh, we forgot to mention, Arnie's American liaison is played by James Belushi, less funny brother of the dead John, and he pops up between levels doing some sort of song-and-dance routine. Weird.

The actual action of the game largely involves Arnie PUNCHING people with unerring accuracy. As you move across the screen - right to left on the first stage, left to right later on - attackers swarm towards you from the far side. This ill-assorted bunch of thugs and hoodlums try to knock you down with an assortment of chops and jabs; you have to time your punches correctly to knock them across the screen, or duck under their blows. If you take a knock, an energy meter shows your falling energy. You have the traditional three lives to complete the game.

As you progress, the scenery changes from the opening scene in the bath-house to a Moscow winter, then to the interior of a hospital. By this time you're armed with an enormous GUN, which certainly makes life easier.

The main punching action is interrupted by sub-games based on sections of the film. Each time you pick up a Bonus token you have a chance to score extra points by completing a sub-game. There are several different types of sub-game; in one, you have to re-arrange the jumbled sections of a key. To do this you move a cursor over a piece, and press fire to swap it with the adjacent piece. In another sub-game you're shown a dollar bill divided into blue and green squares. By moving the joystick in different directions you can make different selections of squares change colour. The aim is to make them all turn green.

For joystick-wagglers there's a sub-game in which Arnie's fist squeezes a hot coal - waggle like mad to get the waggleometer up to the top.

My favourite sub-game shows a selection of three doors, which pop open in turn to reveal either gun-toting thugs, or innocent bystanders such as doggies. schoolgirls and naked women (?!?) The aim is to gun down the thugs and avoid shooting the bystanders, but the temptation is to shoot the lot. Each sub-game is, of course, played against a time limit.

The final aim is to confront and eliminate the arch baddie in a scene of such awesome wonderfulness that we haven't actually seen it. After all, completing all the sub-games to finish the game is a mammoth task.

Red Heat is most notable for its excellent comic-style graphics. Though they're monochrome, the animation and design are excellent, and because you're only shown Arnie's top half, it gives an impression of great size.

Label: Ocean
Author: Special FX
Price: £8.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Chris Jenkins

Graphics: 78%
Sound: 56%
Playability: 78%
Lastability: 79%
Overall: 78%

Summary: Straightforward licence of the all-action Arnie cop film.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 114, August 1991   page(s) 38

Hooray for Arnold! You can usually rely on good old Schwartzie to provide a decent punch-up on either big screen or small and Red Heat provides ample proof of this - even for those who've had their heads buried in a swamp for the last ten years or so.

In Red Heat, the big man plays the part of a pre-glasnost Soviet special cop who must travel to America to intercept the head of an international drug ring (what ever happened to drug squares, oh yes, that was the Rolling Stones the seventies).

Joe Danko, the Commie super cop must survive four levels of frantic fighting action with both fists and firearms, proving, while you're on the job that the battling bulgie is not to be trifled with. The fracas begins in a Soviet sauna where, because of a complete lack of clothes to conceal a weapon, the combat is naturally hand to hand (Oo-er). The action then proceeds to Chicago for the next three levels during which Arnie can pick up a gun and increase his offensive firepower and collect bonus objects. He finally meets the end of game baddie in a tough, life draining duel.

Graphics and gameplay are good. The monochrome-only main screen and sprites are reasonably well defined and scroll, if not quite smoothly, continuously across the screen. The graphic presentation of the muscle man himself is well done and as the screen displays only the top half of everyone's body, most figures, especialy Arnie's, are larger and more visual. Control is good if a little slow and requires some practice.

Red Heat combines action with good graphics - as in the full price game. As a budget it still packs the same punch without knocking the wind out of your piggybank.

Label: Hit Squad
Memory: 48K/128K
Price: £3.99 Tape, N/A Disk
Reviewer: Alan Dykes

Graphics: 80%
Sound: 59%
Playability: 77%
Lastability: 79%
Overall: 79%

Summary: First out nearly two years ago, Red Heat is still graphically good with above average playability. He's big, he's bad and he's back, as he always promised he would be and as usual Arnold doesn't let you down.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Computer & Videogames Issue 119, October 1991   page(s) 88

Hit Squad
Spectrum £3.99

Ruskie drug dealer Viktor Rostavili has evaded capture and escaped to Chicago, and who's got to go and him down? Arnold Schwarzenegger, that's who, in the role of Captain Ivan Danko. Ocean first released Red Heat alt full price, but now have deemed to offer the game on their budget label. It's a four stage affair, with Arnie and co seen from the waist up using a cinema-effect graphic style. There are a couple of bonus screens too, from crushing a hot rock with your bare hands to joining together pieces of a one dollar note. Red Heat didn't exactly set the world on fire first time around, mainly due to its samey gameplay. As a cheapie title, however, it's a bit of an eye-opener, with big, fast sprites and a reasonable level of difficulty. It won't take that long to complete, but you can't argue for under four quid, can you?

Overall: 79%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

The Games Machine Issue 21, August 1989   page(s) 102,103

Spectrum 48/128 Cassette: £8.99, Diskette: £14.99
Commodore 64/128 Cassette: £9.99, Diskette: £14.99

Arnie Schwarzenegger's back as Captain Ivan Danko, a top Russian cop teamed with his American equivalent to track down Viktor Rostavili, a Soviet at the head of an international drug ring.

The Yankee cop doesn't take part in the game. It's just you controlling Arnie and his muscles through four levels. Beginning in a Russian sauna, his upper torso flexes through scrolling screens, punching and head-butting criminals and ducking their blows. A gun and ammo can be collected but are best spared for the toughest thugs.

The game progresses to a hospital, then a hotel, and finally a goods yard where Rostavili is found. Each level has a sub-game, from a rock-crushing waggle in level one to a shoot-out scene where gangsters appear unexpectedly from behind closed doors. That, as they say, is all there is to it...

Red Heat is a simple beat-'em-up. Reading the instructions, the very real limitations make themselves known: a mere two offensive moves and one defensive severely limit control freedom. In playing, it's a case of crawling along each level KO'ing villains with the same joystick move - not exactly designed to instill wild excitement. The sub-games help a little but only take up a small amount of playing time.

It's a tough game; even picking up energy capsules, positioned at intervals through each level, two or three screen lengths are the limit for a beginner. Certainly, practice allows greater progress through the game but no incentive is given for the effort that requires. Only beat-'em-up addicts need apply.

Overall: 52%

Summary: Monochrome has been taken a bit too far - black and white for the whole screen but there's plenty of attention to graphic detail, bar the odd plain wall or skyline. Arnie and the bad guys are semi-caricatures of real people and are almost cartoon-like.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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