Cisco Heat
Copyright/Publisher: Image Works/Mirrorsoft/Ice Software, Produced By:
Ian Morrison, Programmed By: James MacDonald, Graphics By: Alan Grier,
Release Year: 1991, Genre: Racing Sports, No. Of Players: 1

Not content with chasing after hardened criminals, the San Francisco Police Department are preparing for their yearly race around the streets of downtown 'Cisco. All highways and byways have been cordoned off, the cops are at the starting line waiting in anticipation for the signal... and they're off!

As a top-notch cop you get to beat the pants off some of the best police drivers in town. The road scrolls towards you with trees and buildings whizzing past on both sides. You control your car with keys of joystick in the normal way. Press up to accelerate down to brake and fire to toggle hi/lo gear.

Follow the road as it twists and turns to the left and right, whilst avoiding the traffic ahead. Some of these are other police cars to overtake. Others are large lorries and juggernauts. Try and avoid careering into the back of them as you're bound to flip out, leading to a 360-degree roll.

Each stage has a set time limit. Don't worry if you seem to be running out of precious seconds, passing checkpoints en route bumps up your time. Also on screen, you're told what race position you hold. Only the best of the best to be numero uno, and that means thrashing your car to its 170mph limit!

But don't go 'L for leather' when a road junction nears. The signs at the side of the road warn you on approach: time to slow down, change gear and stop. Complete a route unscathed and your lap time appears along with bonus points for time remaining.

Not so hit
Cisco Heat is billed as 'the most thrilling and realistic racing simulation ever to be seen on a home computer'. I've seen more thrills and realism in a fish tank! The graphics are just SO awful. OK, the 64 is renowved for being a touch blocky in the visuals department, but Cisco Heat really takes the biscuit.

The cars ahead look like cardboard-box creations with cotton-reel wheels, and the building in the background and whooshing past resemble Lego bricks. The scrolling is poor and leads to a touch of flicker, it hardly gives a sense of speed either, at some points I looked at the road only to feel as though I was travelling backwards!

Most annoying is the lack of gears and the way it's possible to just stay in the middle of the road, ramming into the back of other vehicles without actually crashing The sound tries to emulate a hard driving, racy feel. It's average, it's boring, it's repetitive, rather like the game, I'm afraid.

I'm usually a very nice person (honest!) and love a good old racing game. However, Cisco Heat has rubbed me up the wrong way. If it were a budget game, fair enough, but FULL PRICE?! Leave it out! Time to go and purchase a fish tank and a few neon tetras, I reckon!

A friend of mine once asked a gypsy what he should do to give him good luck. 'Take your copy of Cisco Heat,' he was told, 'tie it to a lamp post with a piece of string, and leave it overnight.' So he did as instructed. When he went to collect it the next day, someone had pinched the string! Cisco Heat is really dire. Ite blocky graphics, flicky animation, and jerky road make it poot value for money as a budget game, let alone full price.

When you release a game with such a wellserved theme as driving, you have to make your game that little bit special - give it an unusual plot, spanky graphics, great animation, etc, etc. Cisco Heat features none of these. A complete waste of money.


Single load, excellent loading screen.
Blocky and unimaginative, jerky scrolling, no sense of speed.
Weak intro tune, monotonous in-game 'music'..
Easy to play is it's is hard to crash! Downright boring.
Five stages all look the same and play equally appallingly.
You'd have more fun being fitted up by the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad!