Special Criminal Investigation is quite a ‘special’ game. It is part of the Chase HQ series and was released on cartridge only, for the Commodore 64 at least, by Ocean Software in the UK.
SCI was also released late in the Commodore 64‘s lifetime (in 1990 to be precise), so benefited from coders knowing advanced programming techniques that could push the beige bread bin further than it had ever been pushed before.
And the result is a fast-paced, visually-impressive, and highly playable racing game. Sorry, chasing game… A conversion of the Taito arcade game, sometimes known as simply S.C.I. or Chase HQ 2: Special Criminal Investigation.
Gameplay is pretty much the same as the original Chase HQ – you’re chasing dodgy criminals in your overpowered sports car and must force them to stop and surrender. To make them stop you’ve first got to catch up with them, and then ram and shoot them until they give up. And against a strict time limit.
You start with five nitro boosts and a gun on the steering wheel, from which you can shoot target vehicles. There are five different stages, and five different vehicles to stop.
Special Criminal Investigation is one of a number of excellent driving/racing games to come late the C64‘s life, including Out Run Europa and Power Drift, among others. To release the game on cartridge only was a bold move, but it does indicate that Ocean were proud of the game. And rightly so. It’s pretty decent.
The only downside is that there’s no loading screen, because there’s no loading time. You plug the cart in; switch on, and the game’s good to go. A rare luxury on a C64.