Released into arcades by Data East in 1988, RoboCop is unusual because the game was licensed from Ocean Software, who had acquired the video game rights at script stage, when the case was usually arcade companies licensing to home companies. The arcade and home versions were developed simultaneously and are a mixture of run-and-gun and beat ’em up-style gameplay.
You of course play as RoboCop, the part man/part machine policeman of the future, and must clomp your way through scrolling streets, jumping, punching and shooting through waves of criminals and surviving your way through countless hazards. You have a health bar at the bottom of the screen, but it doesn’t take long for it to whittle down to nothing. As you progress through the game you can collect power-ups to enhance his weapons and extend the amount of health that RoboCop has. You can also put in more coins to continue from where you last died.
You’ll face numerous boss battles (ED-209 appears fairly early into the game and reappears later), and a number of hostage situations, but they’re quickly dealt with with some deft jumping and ducking and RoboCop‘s deadly pistol. Various obstacles will also block your way, but they’re usually easily removed with a few punches.
There’s a first person target shooting section where you can earn bonus points, and later levels allow you to pick up the super weapons that the criminals have developed. It also becomes very hectic later on, with grenades, chainsaw criminals, bikers, and crushers posing a death risk to RoboCop.
The RoboCop arcade game – like the home versions – was extremely popular at the time, as RoboCop mania swept the world. The graphics and sound are authentic to the film, and the gameplay is tough but refined. The game may be too difficult for some to enjoy, but RoboCop arcade certainly swallowed some coins in the late Nineties.
More: RoboCop on Wikipedia