One of my many RoboCop collectibles is a copy of the RoboCop Game Boy video cartridge and its box.
The box front uses the image of Robo stepping out of his police cruiser, an image that was used again and again for all sorts of publicity material for the first RoboCop film. The image, of course, is the iconic one from the RoboCop movie poster and VHS box art.
I’ve seen it used in a number of other places, including adverstisements, trading cards and candy wrappers.
The game itself was created by Ocean, and attempts to mirror the gameplay provided in the RoboCop arcade game. It mixes side-scrolling action with occasional target shooting exercises.
The art for the game is pretty standard for the capabilities of the Game Boy system, and you can see some screen shots in the second image that shows the back of the cartridge box.
The game is quite tough. You play Robo, working your way through the scary streets of Detroit. Thugs and miscreants are everywhere, and your job is to blast them the second they appear. Usually you can kill the badguys with one or two shots. You struggle along with a dwindling pool of life. When Robo dies, the game is done. No extra lives here.
Like I said, the game play is fairly difficult, mostly because of clunky controls and the programmers have set up ambushes that are impossible to escape.
The music and sound effects are the best part of the game. The music emulates the movie soundtrack quite well, given the Game Boy’s range. The sound effects are clear gun shots, motorcycle screeches, painful grunts and so on.
The worst part of the game is that it was programmed when Game Boy was still a black and white machine, so it’s a fairly gray affair. Even with my Game Boy color, it’s kind of odd when it guesses the game’s colors and you wind up with an orange RoboCop.