City Connection (Arcade/NES) Review

City Connection was a platformer arcade game released in the 1980’s by Jaceco, and ported to a number of consoles. You play as a driver who stole a number of paint cans and traveling the world to paint the streets. Enemies include cop cars and a darn cat that shows up out of nowhere and the occasional road spikes. You can cause the cop cars to spin out by shooting oil cans at them and knocking them off the screen for points. You can’t stop, but you can jump and make fast 180 degree turns to avoid the police and jump to the next part of the roads. I never played the arcade game or NES title, so after the suggestion of a friend, I gave them a try on stream one night.

Arcade screenshots in the top row, NES screenshots in the bottom row in the above images. For this review, first paragraph will be for the arcade, 2nd one for the NES.

GRAPHICS AND SOUND: The arcade game is quite pretty and detailed. The backgrounds of each location show a familiar landmark or two of that location like NYC, London and more. Your car and the cops are pretty detail, as is the cat. Driving over each road paints it a different color in each level. The tunes differ when you go from stage to stage, and they will get stuck in your head with how catchy they are.

Even with the limitations for the NES, the game is still pretty detailed as much as it can. Backgrounds for the levels still have a familiar landmark, but you paint all the roads white instead of different colors like the arcade. Your car and the cop cars still have a decent look as does the cat, though some may think the cat looks like a pig due to the way it was drawn. The NES version has one music track really and like the arcade, it’ll get stuck in your head.

PLAY CONTROL: You have a button to shoot oil cans and to jump. Your car keeps moving and you can make 180 degree turns to avoid obstacles like the cat. You gotta jump between parts of the road to paint. The controls do take getting used to, especially the fact that you can’t stop moving, so you’ll find yourself driving and jumping into cop cars and cats often. Sometimes you can’t jump high or far enough between roads.

Like the arcade version, you can jump and shoot oil cans you collect, and make 180 degree turns to turn around. Controls aren’t always responsive, and you do have a super jump to jump to higher sections of the road, but like the arcade, you may accidentally drive into cats or a cop car.

CHALLENGE: The arcade version of this goes through 12 levels of road painting fun. The oil cans you collect show up less frequently and more cop cars will fall onto the road. The cats will show up more, though you can get rid of them if you scroll them off the screen. Getting used to the controls is your first challenge here, then trying to jump from road to road at different heights. If you stay on one part of a road too long spikes appear. Once you get used to all that it is a fairly fun arcade platformer that you can shoot for high scores with.

Unlike the arcade game, the nes game has half the levels. The challenge between learning the controls, avoiding the flag waving cat and cop cars and painting all the roads is still there. Still a fairly fun arcade platformer that you can waste an afternoon with.


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