Techno Cop

aka: Technocop
Moby ID: 11314
DOS Specs
Buy on DOS
$28.50 used on eBay
Buy on Genesis
$40.00 used on eBay
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Description official descriptions

Techno Cop is set in the near future. You are a cop who seeks to clear his town of all the criminal scum. The game consists of two parts; one driving-action and one sidescrolling-action. In the first part you drive around in your red Ferrari and destroy hostile cars; in the second part, you turn somersaults over gaps, use elevators and shoot lots of enemies until you reach the boss. After having killed / caught the villain, it's back to the road again for the next mission.

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Credits (DOS version)

6 People

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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 53% (based on 27 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.2 out of 5 (based on 41 ratings with 2 reviews)

A bad port of an already perfunctory game.

The Good
- The music that plays during the title screen of this game is purely awesome. It's reminiscent of late 80's tunes, and is made cooler with the coarse Sega Genesis sound chip.

  • This game was pretty violent for a Genesis game at a time where strong violence wasn't really allowed on home consoles.

    The Bad
    - Half of the game is spent with driving segments in which you shoot fireballs at other cars with your car... That's it. There's absolutely nothing fun about it. There's no music, and the sound effects are ear-grittingly annoying.

  • The other half of the game is spent with segments where you are Techno Cop, ready to bust some bad guys. In these segments, you shoot people... Yeah. There are no power-ups or upgrades. However, you can switch between using a gun, and using a net. The gun is faster, but the enemy takes a few bullets before dying, while the net is slower, and eliminates the enemy in one hit. It sounds cool, but both of these weapons are surprisingly sluggish and not fun to use. Not to mention that Techno Cop is very slow, and he stops after a jump... Which by the way is a 15-foot leap! Anyways, after you're done with a shooting segment, you have to BACKTRACK to the beginning of the stage to move on. Great.

  • Both of these segments are played alternatively. Unfortunately, THEY ALL FEEL THE SAME. Each driving segment looks and plays the same, and it's no different for the shooting segments.

  • As I nodded to before, there is no music in the game. None. None past the title screen. It removes so much enjoyment from the game. Also, the sound effects are just... unpleasant.

  • The graphics from this game barely look a step above Master System level. They're dull and uncreative, simple as that.

  • As I mentioned in the summary, this is a bad port of Techno Cop, an already poor game on every system in which it was released. Some of the other ports, like the Amiga port, are at least more colorful, less sluggish, and more importantly, more playable.

    The Bottom Line
    Techno Cop, especially this port, just doesn't need to exist. It's dull, tedious, and just lacking of anything desirable! Do yourself a favor, and avoid this game like the plague.

Genesis · by Ian Dawson (7) · 2014

Winning combination of driving and side-scrolling shoot-em’ up action with gore galore presented by Gremlin Graphics.

The Good
I can’t exactly put my finger on why I like this one so much, because it’s not particularly inspired, or a technical masterpiece. But even since I played it all those years ago, I still think it’s a top game.

The driving sections see you take control of a sleek red Ferrari fitted out with a mounted machine-gun for taking out those bothersome cars and motor cycles trying to impede you getting to the scene of the crime. This is a simple Road Blasters type affair, where you view your machine from the back, and oncoming vehicles appear on the horizon, and simple scaling routines give you the illusion of just how close they are. Bumping into them causes visible damage to your car, and if you get too damaged your rig will blow up.

You do get some sense of speed from the various trees and bushes that zip by on the sides of the road. If you manage to spin out of the road, you will automatically be returned safely to the road. Your speccy car has an onboard computer system, and you receive information on the dashboard that is below the main display. This gives you information like distance to the destination, and also a photograph of the prime suspect, and whether or not to terminate or apprehend.

When you reach your destination, you will automatically pull over and proceed on foot. Now the game switches to a horizontally scrolling caper, set to a gritty urban backdrop, with graffiti tagged walls, scattered trash and unwholesome punk character’s with guns and makeshift whips sneaking about. But it’s all in a day’s work for your everyday Technocop, as you’ll soon have em’ down to size with a few blasts from your handgun, which renders the scum’s a bloody twitching pile of gibs. You have to watch out for innocents like kids skipping rope, and old ladies’ on walkers, as the game allows you to shoot them also, but is discouraged by penalising your score.

All statistics, necessary information and other read out are given through your rather elaborate HUD, which is a computerized wrist band (with visible hand), shown on the lower part of the display. This is easy to read, and was a very solid concept in design.

A rather neat feature is that you can search the villains bodies for contraband, by kneeling against the remains. If you find something, it will make a particularly gooey sound effect, and you will gain some extra points.

Your main goal is to search the seedy locale’s for your target, and you normally have to negotiate a series of elevators, and pitfalls of various sizes from destroyed flooring. You have a time limit running against you, so you have to get moving. Once you have found your man, you either kill him in the usual way, or switch to your net gun, which will incarcerate your target, whilst keeping him alive.

The seedy environments here are very detailed and well realised. You will see various hotel residents and hookers that have been tied up by the criminals, homeless people taking shelter within the derelict establishments warming their hands over barrels, various dead bodies strewn about the floors, blood splattered walls. The pixel painting here sports a lot of finite details, like being able to see inside various open rooms, that were typically in disarray. This was probably the most graphically detailed, and obscene title of the day.

The sound effects in the car sections are quite good, with squeaking tire sound effects when you skid out, and other gun and explosion samples help draw you into the action.

In the scrolling sections, I always liked the charismatic screams from the punks when you snuffed them out, which sort of had a faint echo as the sample concluded. The sound of your foot steps, moving elevators, and creaking doors opening and closing, and other incidental effects compliment the game nicely.

The Bad
Well, I don’t have any genuine niggles with this game. I think this game originated on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, so this does feel a bit like an 8-bit game with a face-lift, but I can’t really hold this against it.

I suppose the formula does get repetitive as the game goes on, but the same could be said of most other games.

The Bottom Line
This is a very daring, and risque’ outing from Gremlin Graphics, but because it was so shocking and visually graphic, and nothing like anything else out at the time, it is a very unique milestone piece of software that is perhaps a precursor to modern games that frequently lean in this unpleasant urban decay type of visual onslaught that is seemingly so appealing in a gaming context today.

Amiga · by Nick Drew (397) · 2006

Trivia

Cancelled NES version

There was a NES version of Techno Cop that was being created by Simon Nicol. It was finished, but never released.

German index

On October 31, 1989, Techno Cop was put on the infamous German index by the BPjS. For more information about what this means and to see a list of games sharing the same fate, take a look here: BPjS/BPjM indexed games.

Information also contributed by Caltrus

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Embit.

ZX Spectrum added by B.L. Stryker. DOS added by Trixter. Apple II added by 1xWertzui. Atari ST, Amstrad CPC added by Martin Smith. Genesis, Amiga added by Katakis | カタキス.

Additional contributors: Alaka, Xoleras, formercontrib.

Game added December 13, 2003. Last modified January 27, 2024.