by David Leitch, Shaun G. McClure, Sound Images, Steve Snake, Bob Wakelin
Ocean Software Ltd
Sinclair User Issue 106, Dec 1990   page(s) 28

Software houses everywhere seem to have declared war on drug barons everywhere as this month's game theme seems to be bombing, shooting and killing anyone that has anything to do with drugs. This is a good thing keeping down the low life that inhabit the forever twilight world of drugs and their cowardly minions. Having said that, I do hope that only mean illegal drugs - I hope that no-one's going to try to cut off my supply of 2 litres of Diet Coke a day.

What has all this to do with NARC? Well, the game has you in the role of a narcotics busting member of D.E.A. (Drug Enforcement Agency) and it's your job, along with your partner if you choose the two player option, to bust all the slimeball drug pushers who are on the streets using whatever means at your disposal. They're dealing in their own peculiar brand of misery, the Pleasure Pill. You're dealing out your own brand of justice, in hot lead from a machine gun and the occasional rocket that you pick up on the way.

The dealers hide out everywhere, in warehouses, in the street, private houses even hotels and restaurants. And in each scenario you must try to arrest your main target. These guys are identified at the beginning of each stage when you receive your report.

Each time a dealer is 'terminated' he may leave behind a collectible item. These range from drugs that they were carrying, money, and even bullets which when picked up give you extra ammo, bonus, time and even rockets for your launcher.

Graphics, as you can see from the screen shots, are good, and the screen gets busy without action being lost. With good control and a very easy to follow gameplay, NARC looks set to be as popular as its Williams arcade namesake.

Graphics: 84%
Sound: 78%
Playability: 87%
Lastability: 88%
Overall: 87%

Summary: A good conversion on a popular theme. The best drug bashing shoot 'em up on the market.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 127, Sep 1992   page(s) 38,39

Every day we hear stories about drug barons and their henchmen ruining peoples lives. Unfortunately we have to leave it up to governments, police forces and even armies to sort them out. Which is a pity 'cos it'd be good fun to personally get hold of them by the short and curlies and engage in some hammer throwing related japes in the vicinity of an electric fence.

Anyway unlike Narco Police (reviewed later on) Narc takes place in the present day where we have enough drug problems, thank you very much. You play the part of a DEA agent (isn't Drug Enforcement Agency a strange name for a unit trying to stop people from selling drugs - it sounds as though they're trying to force people to take them!) out to force said barons to bite the bullet. A lot of bullets in fact.

There are loads of drug pushers, dealers and henchmen to take care of in the mayhem packed city. Luckily Joe public has retreated indoors so anyone you see you can shoot, ie. there's no screaming mothers parading around with prams for the baddies to hide behind.

There are twelve levels, which is a bit of a mouthful for the Spectrum, even though Narc's only available on 128K. Thus it's a big, big multiloader. Luckily though each level should keep you occupied for a while so it's not as bad as it seems.

The druggies hide in all manner of places such as hotels, restaurants, warehouses, and all over the streets. On each level there is an especially bad head honcho who is your main target. They will be assigned to you at the beginning of each level and you must apprehend them to be successful.

Narc is not an easy game to play. Based on the coin-op of the same name it has a lot of built in difficulty as you shoot down wove after wave of the enemy. There is a very entertaining two player mode which only slows the game down a little but enables you to get through levels marginally faster and with less damage.

Graphics are business-like without setting the world on fire for their stunning portrayal of a drugs war, and sound has plenty of grunts and groans to keep those who insist on turning their telly up happy.

Not the most original or exciting shoot 'em up ever but still one which provides plenty of moderately difficult action that'll keep you going for simply ages.

Plenty of action, plenty of levels and plenty of baddie busting japes. I'm still not convinced that this game has very much lastability because it tends to get a bit samey after a while.

Graphics: 83%
Sound: 72%
Playability: 85%
Lastability: 89%
Overall: 85%

Summary: Narc is a good looking, fast paced shoot 'em up, disadvantaged by its scale as a multiloader but worth a look nonetheless for fighting fans.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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