Bonnie And Clyde isn’t just a fantastic movie from the late ’60s, with Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, but is now a new ZX Spectrum game for 2020 from Zosya, who brought a number of titles last year including the wonderful Valley of Rains, as well as Drift – which I didn’t get into, really, and the engaging motorbike racer, Just A Gal.
When this one started up, I had visions of Bomb Jack – one of my all-time favourite arcade games of the ’80s, and also brilliantly recreated on the Spectrum, complete with its rendition of Lady Madonna by The Beatles.
This time round, you play a cat called Clyde, collecting coins all around the screen instead of bombs, while picking up packages being dropped by Bonnie including sacks or money, extra bullets – and when you’ve scooped up all the coins, a safe appears, and it needs cracking. Dynamite will drop down the sky at this point, collect it, then walk past the safe to get it ready to explode… but then run away, so you don’t die!
But it’s not so simple because you’ve got gangster cats patrolling the grounds, and they’re ready to kill you if you bump into them, so make sure you blow them away. Oh, and after a few levels, they can ALSO shoot back!
That said, other pickups include a star which FREEZES the gangster cats, allowing you to simply walk over them and make them disappear… as long as they don’t UNfreeze when you DO that. That… causes you to die.
You’re also up against the clock, and another pickup will give you extra time.
Once the safe is open, get the cash from it, and then you can climb the ladder, reunite with Bonnie, and then it’s on to the next stage.
And then do this for a total of 90 levels! And with 9 lives… well, that’s how many lives a cat has… except for any cat I’ve owned… but let’s not go there.
As for an arcade game challenge, this is brilliantly balanced and gives me the same level of challenge as I had with ZX Spectrum games back in the ’80s. To that end, I love the opening Bonnie And Clyde splash screen which has a supposed 1986 copyright date, in fond homage back to that time. And similar to The Lost Treasures Of Tulum, had this been released back in the day, it would’ve been absolutely massive and a huge favourite of all arcade game fans, so get it today! It’s free!
One important factor is that you’re not expected to complete all 90 levels in one sitting. As you’ll see from the main menu, there’s an option to enter a code (which has 18 digits!), and these will be divulged at various points throughout the game, so you can start from there. However, note that when you do this, you’ll restart the game with as many lives as you had when you died; you won’t suddenly have a new complement of nine.
Hence, this is the same idea as the code you’d get when you came to the end of a game of Ghostbusters on the ZX Spectrum back in 1984, and wanted to continue right from where you left off. I was always amazed how this was done. And I still am.
Now, I was given a code after 5 levels and 10 levels, but the next one was after 20 levels… and due to a mishap, I didn’t note the code down. Okay, so if I die on level 21, it will show me the code for passing level 20, right? No… it took me back to level 11. Bah! Another time it took me to level 21. Not quite sure how that’s working, but just make sure you write them down!
However, you can get extra lives very sparingly, as I did so after 2000 points.
Overall, this is a brilliant game, and as I write this, I’m only just about at the halfway point, but there’s some fiendishly difficult stages in this, with you having to complete them against the clock AND without getting shot AND without bumping into any of the enemies, often with them just appearing out of nowhere! Hence, I’m not sure if I’ll get through the entire 90 levels without a lot of work, so the walkthrough below is not from me.
Bonnie And Clyde is released by Zosya, and can be downloaded from their website. There are a number of emulators you can use, but I tend to favour Spectaculator 8.0.
Check out my gameplay walkthrough below:
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.