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Game info

Cisco Heat

Cisco Heat
GenreArcade Racing
Developer / PublisherIce Software / Image Works
Media1 x disk
Reviewed byndial
In Cisco Heat you tear along the streets of San Francisco in a five-levels race against fellow police officers!!! The game was originally released for the arcades by Jaleco in 1990, and ported to the Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore C64/128, Amstrad CPC, Sinclair ZX and PC (DOS/Win) in 1992.
Cisco HeatA charity race is set in the streets from the California Highway Patrol, in order to find the best police driver (!).
Unfortunately, the infamous tram system seems to have total disregard for the race, and insists on trying to operate its usual service. Not only that, but the law-abiding public can be found non-chalantly trundling along the bumpy roads in their sedans...
The car has only two gears, High and Low (can be switched by pulling up or down and pressing fire on your joystick), enabling you to reach speeds of around 200Kmh (170Mph). You may start your race by choosing between two police cars, an old-style bi-coloured 70s Ford or a modern 90s Nissan ZX roadster. During the race, the only 'weapon' you have is your...horn! You can honk until cars ahead move out of your way (but this is not quite effective...). Oh, one last thing.... while dodging the trams and the traffic you also have to be ready for 45 degrees slopes and 90 degrees bends (that is why, San Francisco is being chosen! And remember, avoid driving in the middle of the road as much as possible because most of the annoying objects found on your way are in there (such as construction signs, oil leaks etc!). The corners were Cisco Heat's primary claim to arcade fame, an effect that marked it out from the other car race-based coin-ops.
Well Cisco Heat has a rather amateurish feel to it, it is far too short to provide a decent amount of enjoyment and in no way competes with similar racers such as, the Lotus series (by EA). But as an original (and quite famous) arcade title, we decided to include this game to our taste.

The Amiga conversion is technically ok compared to its arcade parent in terms of graphics and sound but some unique graphics details are missing too here (such as the ...dramatic double-decker bridge section found in the original). The graphics are colorful, but fail to offer a 3D feel of the trucks and cars you overtake (and surroundings i.e. buildings, trees). Both road and hills move along quite fast but the vehicles are poorly animated. The gameplay area is the bigger found among its competitors Atari ST and PC versions, which make the game more playable. But strangely enough, the game here runs a bit slower!
The sound features a nice introductory theme, a rather good, repetitive in-game tune and some sampled sounds FX. I expected more from the Amiga version considering its advanced sound capabilities and thus I give it here a small 7/10.
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Intro/Menu music:  In-game music sample:
Gameplay sample
Some videos belong to (indicated); others not
Comparable platforms
Commodore Amiga OCS/ECS
Atari ST
Hardware information

Amiga 500/500+

Amiga 500/500+CPU: Motorola MC68000 7.16 MHz
MEMORY: 512KB of Chip RAM (OCS chipset - A500), 512 KB of Slow RAM or Trapdoor RAM can be added via the trapdoor expansion, up to 8 MB of Fast RAM or a Hard drive can be added via the side expansion slot. The ECS chipset (A500+) offered 1MB on board to 2MB (extended) of Chip RAM.
GRAPHICS: The OCS chipset (Amiga 500) features planar graphics (codename Denise custom chip), with up to 5 bit-planes (4 in hires), allowing 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 color screens, from a 12bit RGB palette of 4096 colors. Resolutions varied from 320x256 (PAL, non-interlaced, up to 4096 colors) to 640x512 (interlace, up to 4 colors). Two special graphics modes where also included: Extra Half Bright with 64 colors and HAM with all 4096 colors on-screen. The ECS chipset models (Amiga 500+) offered same features but also extra high resolution screens up to 1280x512 pixels (4 colors at once).
SOUND: (Paula) 4 hardware-mixed channels of 8-bit sound at up to 28 kHz. The hardware channels had independent volumes (65 levels) and sampling rates, and mixed down to two fully left and fully right stereo outputs
The Amiga 500/500+ (default) color palette
12bit RGB 4096-colors palette
(32 to 4096 colors on screen)
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