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PC CD-ROM Review

We have already reviewed the American Laser Games (ALG) productions with the fabulous "Crime Patrol", introduced in March 1993. "WHO SHOT JOHNNY ROCK?" is the second ALG game available on PC CD-ROM after "Mad Dog McCree".

The story is set in the Rollicking '30s and someone has killed the popular singer Johnny Rock beside a telephone booth. His girlfriend hires the player to find out the culprit in this action-packed gangster "whodunit". The player reaches his goal when: he survives shoot-out gunfire at one of four key game locations (pool hall, casino, warehouse and garage); and obtains a clue (a picture of a work of art for example) to the combination of the safe on location. Clues are provided by a "Gal Friday" on the telephone, as well as by various shady characters in each scene.

Once the player finds all the clues to the combination, a trip to the house of the heartthrob will reveal the identity of the killer. At the house, players must shoot at the works of art in a room to obtain the combination to open the safe and see a final object related to one of the four suspects. For example, if the player opens the safe revealing dice, he will know that the suspect is the owner of the casino. A final visit to the suspect's location and survival of another scene completes the game with the suspect's confession.

Unlike "Mad Dog McCree", "Johnny Rock" has a random nature that makes it completely replayable even after someone finishes the game and solves the mystery. The game play in "Johnny Rock" is very simple: just aim the machine gun cursor at the screen and shoot the criminals that pop up from time to time before they manage to squeeze off a shot themselves. The game is forgiving and allows a few trips to the hospital or to the morgue after a hood's successful shot, but after too many "deaths", the game is over. Obviously the player can save his game or continue by returning to the main menu.

There should be enough ammunition for the machine gun to make it through an entire game. If necessary, players can use the game dollars they have earned from successful shootings to buy bullets at the ammo shop.

All the scenes are first person perspectives from the eyes of the player/private detective hired to solve the case. The video is a bit choppy on a single speed CD-ROM drive, so we recommend a double speed drive for a better gaming experience.


Although both games are based on the same technology, I personally prefer "Crime Patrol" to "Johnny Rock". After having played "Crime Patrol" for hours, I have become disappointed with "Johnny Rock" because of its simplicity. Players have no need to reload their gun after shooting and they can foresee where the criminals will appear. In fact, there is no randomness related to the location where a gangster will pop up which makes the game too easy. Besides, I am not convinced by the digitized footage and the music is much livelier in "Crime Patrol".


286-16 Mhz or better (386 recommended),
Min 512 Kb memory,
MS-DOS 3.3 or later,
Hard drive,
Single CD-ROM drive or better (double speed recommended),
VGA 256 colors graphic card and monitor,
Mouse or 100% Microsoft compatible and keyboard,
Sound Blaster or 100% compatible sound card.

Ratings and Publisher:

                         American Laser Games
     GRAPHICS 74%        4801 Lincoln Road NE,                  
     SOUND    75%        Albuquerque, NM 87109                   
     MUSIC    70%        Tel: 505-880-1718                      
     GAMEPLAY 80%        Toll free: 1-800-880-1718                      
     INTEREST 79%                                         

     OVERALL  77%


On the 3DO, forget everything we said about choppy animations, and quality of digitized footages. Images are clear with dazzling speed animations and sounds are CD-quality. There are also some extra options not available on the PC version. First, you can choose between a one or two player game, each player having a different color (red bullets, red score and red machine gun for player one and blue for player two). The gamegun (made by ALG) is highly recommended for a thrilling experience and there is an option in the game to calibrate the lightgun.

Ratings and Publisher:

                         American Laser Games                   
     GRAPHICS 86%        4801 Lincoln Road NE,                  
     SOUND    85%        Albuquerque, NM 87109                   
     MUSIC    84%        Tel: 505-880-1718                      
     GAMEPLAY 85%        Toll free: 1-800-880-1718                      
     INTEREST 86%                                         

     OVERALL  85%


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