Atari Lynx Review: A.P.B. on Lynx Lounge
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By Brian Thomas Barnhart |
Hey what’s up everybody? Welcome back to the Lynx Lounge! I’m your host BTB, and have we got a special show for you today. I, myself, support the boys in blue. Those guys have the toughest job in the world, and I just want to say thank you for everything that you do. So, let’s celebrate the boys in blue today by playing a little A.P.B.
Here we go. In 1987 A.P.B. comes out, and it has a really, really cool arcade cabinet. It’s got sirens on it, it’s got a steering wheel, a pedal, it’s got a shoot button, it’s got a siren button, but here’s the thing… it’s a little convoluted.
Now when you have an arcade cabinet, and you’re trying to make money off of that arcade cabinet, you want to make sure that the gameplay is easy to pickup, but it is extremely hard to master. You want to keep putting those quarters in. Unfortunately A.P.B. was one of those arcade cabinets that had a little too much going for it. You might’ve played A.P.B. one time, but chances are you didn’t play A.P.B. two or three times.
Because, let’s face it, when we went to the arcade back in the day, we only went with maybe $5 if we were lucky. We had to make every single game count. All of those quarters added up, it’s not like it is today where you get a card and you don’t have to worry about it. No, we had to make sure that money was being spent wisely and we were getting the best bang for our buck.
A.P.B. was NOT one of those games for me. Now, I know what you’re saying, you’re probably out there going:
I’m not saying it’s not a good game, I just didn’t put a lot of quarters into it. Know what I’m saying?
Now here’s the great thing about this translation from the arcade to the Atari Lynx. It’s actually better than the arcade. That is correct. Think about it. Every time we do these comparisons we’re always saying “Well, the arcade had a special joystick that just made it really awesome. That was a memorable experience for that arcade game, and it just kinda barely passes on the Atari Lynx. Hey, it’s great because it’s portable, but I didn’t really get that same satisfaction.”
Well this is the complete opposite. This plays great. The controls are very stripped down, and that makes for easy play. You could really pick this thing up and play, and it plays really good.
In 1987 a lot of great arcade games were coming out: After Burner, Double Dragon, RoadBlasters. You had all of these games that had a lot of charm to them. A.P.B. was another one of those games that was absolutely charming and funny, putting a whole Car 54, Where Are You? spin on things, so that’s very, very cool.
Its hard not to compare the television comedy hi-jinks of Car 54 Where Are You to A.P.B., especially on the game over screen. Your squad car has the number 54 on the trunk, that’s kind of a dead give away.
But let’s not forget the popular Police Academy films they were showing in your local theater – every year… From 1984 to 1989 a Police Academy film came out every single year! And you thought there was an excessive amount of Transformers or Pirate films, oh no, that’s child’s play compared to the amount of Police Academy films that we readily digested on a year to year basis.
Not only that, but there was a Kenner toy line and a cartoon, so you can see the game was tipping its cap to Car 54 but trying to get the quarters from the crowd who couldn’t get enough of Steve Gutenberg, Hightower and Tackleberry.
A lot of great innovations were happening in arcades in 1987, and A.P.B. was just another one of those games that was trying to do a lot of really, really cool things on the arcade cabinet, however, it just really didn’t do it. For me at least.
Let’s talk about the game. The game looks really great on the Lynx. The controls are spot-on. It works soo good with this game. It’s just really fun, it’s charming, you’ve got the digitized speech, the good music…
And here’s another thing: as I was playing this game again, kind of revisiting it, I couldn’t help but think “Man, this looks like the original Grand Theft Auto” that we got on the Sony PlayStation. The first couple of Grand Theft Auto games, they were like a bird’s eye view. Interesting. Interesting way to compare and contrast modern video games with retro video games. Hmm…
A.P.B. is your standard police game. You’re trying to bust the bad guys. You drive your car around, you look for the perpetrators and you pull them over. If you successfully do that, the Chief thinks that you’re a cool guy, and if not, the Chief chews you out. It has funny cut scenes, it’s cool stuff.
So what do I think of A.P.B.? I think A.P.B. is an alright game. It’s not the best, but it’s an alright game. I would actually say it’s above average, and it’s one that if you see out in the wild you should pick it up. I say, if you’re out in the wild and you’re seeing Lynx games, pick it up.
Hey, the boys in blue are always welcome here at the Lynx Lounge, and I like A.P.B., I think you would like A.P.B. too, so you should check out A.P.B. Do yourself a favor! Check out my other shows: The Jag Bar, if you want to take a look at Atari Jaguar stuff, Lynx Lounge for Atari Lynx, or 7800 Avenue if you’re into classic Atari 2600 and Atari 7800 video games. I will see you on the next episode! Alright, see you later! Peace be with you.
A.P.B. was developed by Atari Games and programmed by Quicksilver Software. It was released on the Atari Lynx in 1991.
A.P.B. TM Atari Games Corporation. Licensed to Tengen. A.P.B. ©1990 Tengen Inc. All Rights Reserved. A.P.B. ©1991 Atari Corp. Licensed to Atari Corp. Adaptation by Quicksilver Software, Inc.
Brian Thomas Barnhart is a classic gaming aficionado, retro pop culture connoisseur, and a Senior Fellow at Atari I/O. He is host of The Jag Bar, Lynx Lounge, 7800 Avenue, and the Atari I/O After Hours Podcast. Brian is a Moderator in the Atari I/O Forums under the name btbfilms76. You can follow him on Instagram and at his YouTube channel.
model # PA 2042
WILLIAM C. FISHER
ARLENE M. CABERTO