The 1986 title Empire City: 1931
Nice shooting game with huge scrolling scenery. You control the crosshair, which causes screen to pan around on front-view NY streets and some indoor locations. Thugs appear at windows, alleys, rooftops, church towers, jump from ledges. You have some seconds until the thug aims and shoots at you. You can dodge the shoot but fail to kill the thug and it's good-bye.

I really like the realistic (for '85) graphics, the scrolling scenery, the strategy elements (victims appear being held by gangsters to difficult shooting, boxes on the street contain extra bullets & money bags to shoot repeatedly for bonus points, and sometimes even a comic-style superman(!) comes out from those) and cinematic touches (the game over scene is truly dramatic). You get to develop a scroll-aim-dodge-shoot routine that's oddly calming... the way of the sniper, I guess.

Missing Ingredient
Turn offs: slow speed overall (I sometimes play it with throttle off to speed things up), repetitive gameplay (you'll begin to know when and where those thugs and wood crates appear), lack of other distractions or hidden items (passerbys and cars would have spiced thing up). The end boss has to be shot with 1 bullet, which is truly difficult. And after the last boss, game resets to start level, no increase in difficulty or new scenery.

Thanks to Jeffrey Carl at ServInt for providing the space for CinemArcade


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