Andy Capp

by Jas C. Brooke, Jim Tripp, Nigel Brown
Mirrorsoft Ltd
Crash Issue 49, Feb 1988   page(s) 23

Producer: Mirrorsoft
Retail Price: £9.95
Author: Blitter Animations

Andy Capp, the flat-capped Northerner of Daily Mirror comic-strip fame, is once more in financial trouble. His precious dole chequehas been stolen, and his ever tolerant wife Flo is demanding money again. Andy has a week in which to retrieve his cheque AND raise some money to keep Flo off his back.

On leaving his house, our antihero finds himself in the familiar surroundings of his neighbourhood, where he walks along the many streets, and enters unlocked buildings such as the pub, police station and even the local Job Centre.

The Lancashire lad must find out who has stolen his cheque by gathering as much information as he can from the characters he meets. Poor old Andy needs a drop of Dutch courage before interrogating his friends though, so a visit to the local pub is the first order of the day. Andy's state of inebriation is constantly monitored by an 'alcometer' shown below the main screen.

Actually getting into a pub can be difficult, since the rent man frequently waits at the door to collect Andy's money. There are others who also give Andy a hard time, especially the local bobby who knows that Andy is on his wanted list.

If Andy feels that an individual should be taught a lesson, he can use the boxing glove icon at the bottom of the screen to engage in some gentlemanly fisticuffs. Punch-ups quickly reduce his alcohol level, however, and a pub must be found fast! If he engages in too many rounds of boxing he can find himself up before the judge with a hefty fine to pay. He must also be careful that in the scuffle, he doesn't lose his wallet.

Such things can only worsen Andy's sad plight. so to augment his scant financial resources, Andy can take a chance on picking the winner of the next horse race, and with a bit of luck scrounge some cash from the barman or get away with Flo's handbag without her knowing. If all else fails, he can always get a job!


Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: cartoon-type characters and backgrounds, accurate to Reg Smythe's original
Sound: simple title tune and very poor in-game effects

I found it great fun to control Andy's boisterous pursuits and I was soon going round clad in flat cap and braces, fighting with the local police and rent man, chasing after my girlfriend and then downing a few in the local pub. The graphics are just like those in the comic strip and really capture the whole feel of Andy's lifestyle. There are some decent sound effects and also an Andy Capp anthem when you die. The game itself is rather hard: I found tasks such as keeping my alcometer up and paying the rent quite difficult. I also found it too easy to stray away from my quest to fight everyone in sight and chase numerous girlfriends which proved much more fun! Andy Capp stays in with the light-hearted newspaper cartoon and is sure to be a hit with fans of strip.
NATHAN [77%]

The graphics in Andy Capp are clear and very well drawn with some great animation. If you're used to the Tai-Pan-style layout you won't get lost, but everyone else should indulge in a little cartography to ensure rapid progress. The adventure-type actions obviously help the game but are a little confusing at first; they do take a bit of exploration to discover their capabilities. A wider range of speech and actions would push the game to a higher playability rating, but this should entertain you for a while.
BYM [68%]

Andy Capp is quite a jolly little game. There isn't much to do but for the first half hour or so it's quite entertaining. The graphics are very good; I especially liked the fight sequence! Mirrorsoft's version of the famous cartoon character is extremely accurate (I'm a keen Daily Mirror fan) and it works well. That's not to say it's addictive, however, since the action is slow and becomes tiresome after a while. I couldn't really recommend Andy Capp, but I'm sure some people will enjoy it. What I want to know is when someone's going to do Alex from The Independent.
MIKE [73%]

Presentation: 65%
Graphics: 70%
Playability: 75%
Addictive Qualities: 73%
Overall: 73%

Summary: General Rating: Plenty of appeal for all Andy's readers.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 27, Mar 1988   page(s) 31

Reviewer: Richard Blaine

Howay, pet, what's all this then? They've gone and poot mi in ay computaa gaem. Thass norron, pet - unless they're gonna pay me ay munnai. Whaat? Ay pocket full of brass to ay Mirrorsoft? Ay well, worrcanyi expect of ay paper Flo reads all ay time... (Angry Geordies who wish to complain about the above feeble attempts to convey the full flavour of their own inimitable style should complain to the editor.)

Andy Capp is Me latest, but by no means the last computer game published as the result of a licensing deal. The only (slightly) interesting thing about this latest little coup de marketinge (as they call it in France) is that the company licensed to produce the game, Mirrorsoft, is owned by the same person, Robert Maxwell, as the paper, the Daily Mirror, which owns the copyright to the character the game is based upon- Andy Capp. Simple, really, innit?

What we have here is a graphic, icon driven adventure. Your objective is to survive a week in the life of our favourite typical Geordie stereotype, Andy Capp. What this means is that you have to a) beat Flo up every so often - after all you wouldn't want her getting uppity, would you? b) beg, borrow and steal enough money to keep yourself ahead on the rent; c) throw your money away on the dogs; d) stay as drunk as you possibly can; e) avoid getting thrown in chokey by the police; f) enjoy a flirtation with your fancy bit.

So there we have it in order to score as many points as possible, you have to be violent, criminal. sexist, alcoholic, and a spendthrift. And the sociologists say that the problem with youth today is that they need role models! What more could one want from a hero?

Actually if you can ignore our Andy's personality defects - and let's face it, only Guardian readers wouldn't be able to forgive the lovable Northern tyke, right? - then Andy Capp looks like being an excellent arcade adventure. Great fun, simple but effective graphics and tough gameplay. Everything you need really.

The top half of the screen is a graphics window. In it you will see Andy and his present location, in glorious black and sort of off-white. Andy and the other characters are about half the window high, which means that the programmers have been able to get a pleasing amount of graphic detail in without making the sprites clumsily large. Each location is the width of the screen; walk off one side, and you move to the next location. Every so often, you can walk oft at right angles to the screen - just get Andy to face away from you and press up and you're in another location.

Below the graphics window, you have a collection of different icons, along with other information. This display panel tells you the day and time, how many kisses you have left in your armoury (very important - see further on), how drunk you are, how much money you have and what your score is. Then there are four special icons which you use to get Andy to perform unusual activities - wallet, speech bubble, boxing glove and exclamation sign. The wallet is for transactions - buying, betting, paying rent etc; the speech bubble is for speaking, (believe it or not); the glove is for when you want to have a punch-up; and the exclamation mark is for when you want to check your pockets, examine something or use an item.

When you transact, talk or use your brain, the program will give you a list of options. Highlight the one you want with the cursor keys, then hit fire and bingo. Child's play. A couple of tips: try and avoid the policemen - they seem yo sover you up quicker when you walk past one; buy yourself a racing paper, as you need a tip to win some money; and don't forget that every street has two sides which you can walk down.

In conclusion, Mirrorsoft has come up with the goods here; clever but unfussy graphics, simple gameplay with challenging problems and all wrapped around a character that everybody loves to hate - and I don't mean the rent collector. No matter what his personal life might be like, on the small screen Andy Capp is a winner.

Howay the lad!

Graphics: 8/10
Playability: 8/10
Value For Money: 8/10
Addictiveness: 8/10
Overall: 8/10

Summary: Clever and original arcade adventure that accurately simulates the breathless non-stop action of Andy's life. Champion!

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 71, Feb 1988   page(s) 54,55

Label: Mirrorsoft
Author: Butler Animations
Price: £9.95
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Graham Taylor

I wasn't much convinced of the idea of an Andy Capp computer game.

I always associated the cartoon with old men in pubs. It doesn't have quite the same grab factor as, say, Top Gun.

I expected tedium and, well, at least it's not quite like that.

The first point is the game looks exactly like the cartoon strip. Big characters, smoothly animated, and the backdrops are authentic-looking, all grim streets and dingy pubs. It even retains another important visual aspect of the strips - yep it's in black and white, otherwise we'd be in attribute clash city an' no mistake.

The cartoon is pretty sexist and so is the game but then I guess the character of Andy himself is pretty sexist too. The plot revolves around getting your dole cheque and giving it to your loyal wife Flo'. This seemingly simple objective actually turns out to be astoundingly complicated. For a start, one of your first objectives is to actually make some money - this apparent contradiction is because you'll need, as Andy Capp, to keep your energy levels up by drinking beer. One of your first objectives therefore, is to find a pub. That's when you're going to need some money, unless, of course, you fancy a bit of thieving ...

Thieving - ie not paying for anything in a shop or pub or taking an object you want for someone who wants something in return - is going to cause you to be arrested by PC Plod. Get arrested and you'll need yet more cash to pay your way out of jail.

The Andy character spends much of his time drinking, second only to drinking as a pastime is fighting. It's worth fighting people just for the sheer joy of seeing the authentic whirl-of-arms-and-legs-in-cloud-of-smoke fighting animation. Spiffing.

There's a nifty icon-select system that runs along the bottom of the screen. Standard options: Use object, Inventory, Examine, Speak, it's always worth trying Examine in the most unlikely places - the papershop, for example, yields unexpected rewards.

Graphics are excellent, although the basic simplicity of the cartoon doesn't require a lot of detail. Still Mirrorsoft deserves credit for making the graphics so large, accurate and smooth.

If there is a problem with the game, aside from any doubts about the very basis for the licence, is that the gameplay is a touch slow. I was beginning to lose interest in the thing after about an hour. Still, that could be my prejudice and if you like the cartoon strip you may be more impressed.

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Overall: 7/10

Summary: Looks very good, technically clever but I don't think the gameplay is going to retain your long term interest .

Transcript by Chris Bourne

ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Issue 6, Mar 1988   page(s) 56

Newspaper capers from Mirrorsoft.

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes and just to prove it, hot from The Daily Mirror where he stars in his own comic strip, comes Andy Capp. He's the laziest, most conniving skiver north of the Humber, and the transition from print to pixels hasn't changed him one bit.

Andy's debut on the micro has him in an arcade adventure viewed side-on, where he attempts to recover his stolen Giro. You've only got a week to guide Andy around on his icon-driven adventures before Flo's gonna hop it back mother's. So time is of the essence, and with very limited funds it's not going to be easy - especially since you still owe money to the rent man, and he wont be put off for much longer.

Andy's limited funds at the start of the game simply aren't enough to keep his 'alcometer' topped up for the week, and should he dry out - well, it's game over. The game's full of puzzles like trying to find out how to beg, borrow or steal some extra dosh, and how to get rid of the rent man who bars your entrance to the pub.

The gameplay is tough to begin with because it's hard to find your way around. Nice touches added to the game, like the changing background colour to signify the time of day (though a twenty-four hour digital clock is always on-screen) add atmosphere, making the game fun to play, at least until the novelty wears off.

The adventuring side of things is somewhat limited and Tai Pan springs immediately to mind as a comparison. Avid followers of the comic strip will easily identify all of Andy's traits, but dedicated arcade adventurers may find the game too simplistic and too easy to complete to keep them interested for any length of time.

Reviewer: Andy Smith

Spec, £9.95cs,
C64/128, £9.95cs, £12.95dk,
Amstrad, £9.95cs, £14.95dk,
Atari ST, £19.95dk, Mar/April
Amiga, £19.95dk, Mar/April

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 75/100
1 hour: 78/100
1 day: 70/100
1 week: 50/100
1 month: 30/100
1 year: 5/100

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Graphics: 7/10
Audio: 6/10
IQ Factor: 4/10
Fun Factor: 7/10
Ace Rating: 635/1000

Summary: Playable and atmospheric, but it just hasn't got anything like enough of a challenge in it to keep you playing for long.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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