I liked the movie, and read some of the comics, but when my father was a kid, he was a huge fan of the comic book series and also watched Dick Tracy television shows and movies back in his day as well. Now, this game is tough in the NES version and from time to time it can get on your nerves, and piss you off.
Plot. In a fictional city, reflecting the Chicago crime wave in the 1930s, Big Boy Caprice owns the majority of the city and is involved in crimes such as: illegal gambling, murder, bribery, intimidation and more. However, there is only one police officer brave enough to fight and destroy the organized crime controlling the city, his name is Dick Tracy. Dick Tracy is a cop who is next in line to be the chief of police, to which he scorns as a desk-job. He goes on many cases fighting criminals and the corrupt, in order to obtain leads and arrest Big Boy and the majority of his crew such as Flattop, Breathless Mahoney and more.
Once the player has collected enough clues, he can drive to the location where the perpetrator is and arrest him. In side scrolling mode, players can guide Tracy to the character who can give them clues. Tracy must not shoot unarmed villains, because the health will decrease. Players can pick up where they left off by using passwords, which can be inputted in a safe by pressing continue at the beginning of the game.
Concept. The purpose of the game is to solve various mysteries and obtain many clues without shooting unarmed crooks and accusing the wrong person.
Design. When driving Dick Tracy, the game switches to an overhead perspective, similar to that of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And when entering the right location, players go from overhead view to sidescrolling mode. Which is cool of course. Also, some scenarios of interrogating or arresting perpetrators is similar to that of the comic books. The intro where Tracy, Big Boy and Breathless Mahoney are speaking was designed very well making it like a combination between the movie and the comic book. Tracy and Big Boy resemble both Warren Beatty and Al Pacino. But Breathless Mahoney does not resemble Madonna at all.
Memories. I first played this game when I was 7 years old, and it was at the time when I had my SNES, but I played in my cousin's old NES before he got a Sega Genesis. I also saw the movie when I was a little kid, and it somewhat inspired me to be a cop, but I chose a graphic design path. My father always talked about the comic books, and told me how amazing it was despite the lack of technology in those times, such as Dick Tracy talking to his allies and superiors through a communications wrist watch.
History. Dick Tracy was published as comics in the 1930s, and it was heavily inspired in the war between the Chicago police and the mafia headed by Al Capone, one of the most notorious mob bosses of the 20th Century. It had various radio shows and movies from the 1940s to the 1950s. It also had live action shows on television and comics up until the 1970s. A live-action film was also released in 1990, starring Warren Beatty as Dick Tracy, Al Pacino as Big Boy Caprice, and Madonna as Breathless Mahoney. I loved the movie, but I wish I read the comics too.
Rantings. In the overhead views, the thing that bothered me were the snipers. The snipers could be barely seen and at times they would get on your nerves. A bother is that you cannot shoot unarmed villains, because if you do, you will lose health. Also, I think that instead of two first aids, you should have carried about 5 instead. Also, some of the characters did not resemble those of the movies or the comics.
Good Aspects. Despite not shooting unarmed villains, this game is pretty decent for something that's based on both the 1990 movie and the comic book series. The game has moderately average replay value, and it is a decent game. Not on the virtual console, but you can play it on VirtualNES.com or download the NES emulator and the game's rom.
Overall. Dick Tracy gets a 6 out of 10.