Dick Tracy is a action/adventure game that was released for various platforms in 1990 and is loosely based on the comic strip of the same name. This page will specifically be on the NES version developed by Realtime Associates and published by Bandai.


The game is spread over 5 "cases" in which the objective for each is to explore the city and collect enough evidence to find and arrest the suspect. The gameplay itself is split into 2 sections, an overhead driving section and a side-scrolling section where you punch and shoot bad guys.

Why It Sucks

  1. You get only one life to beat the whole game, the result being one of the few times that James Rolfe (as the AVGN) went from just acting to genuine rage
  2. The controls in the driving section are terrible- instead of being able to drive around freely, Dick will only drive on the right-hand side of the road and his car behaves as if it's magnetised on intersections, making turning a pain.
  3. Dick and his car share the same life meter
  4. Surviving in the driving section is almost impossible because there's snipers on almost every rooftop who will shoot at you as soon as they're on-screen. They're impossible to dodge (see no. 2) and although Dick can exit his car and shoot them while on-foot, their small size makes them difficult targets to hit and the screen won't scroll again until you get back in the car
  5. Every "case" is the exact same- You drive around, go through side-scrolling levels to get clues, chase and shoot a blue car and arrest the suspect. It becomes incredibly tedious and repetitive
  6. Convoluted map design e.g. if you're at 7th & B on the map and you drive north expecting to find 7th & C, you'll end up at 8th & D
  7. Some of the clues make absolutely no sense e.g. a footprint in a puddle of green ink
  8. Some of the clues are difficult to reach
  9. There's no extra ammo in the levels- You have to drive back to the police station to refill on ammo
  10. You can only look at the notebook that says which building to go to next whilst at the police station
  11. You take damage if you shoot unarmed enemies
  12. Even once you figure out the culprit's identity and location through trial-and-error the game doesn't let you cut any corners- you have to get every clue otherwise Dick will get scolded for having insufficient evidence.
  13. Enemies in later levels shoot at too fast a rate to avoid
  14. There's a glitch when fighting Big Boy (the final boss and suspect) where the last shot on him before dropping his gun counts as shooting an unarmed enemy, meaning you'll instantly die if you're low on health even though you defeated him fairly
  15. After defeating Big Boy the game still gives you the option to interrogate him, which will just force you to have to replay the level all over again
  16. The inventory system is retarded- You press select to cycle through your items in real-time and to use your current item you have to hold B+Select, meaning if you want to use a specific item you have to hold select on the item that comes before the item you want to use

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