Atari 2600 Friday’s #41 – Private Eye
Jinkies, it’s time to do some sleuthing.
The Story: Join Private Eye Pierre Touche on his race to catch international scoundrel Henri Le Fiend. Solve Five cases and be the respected Private Eye you always wanted to be.
From the Manual: “”Sacre bleu! I am the great French private eye Pierre Touche and I need your help. I’ve been summoned to capture the ringleader, Henri Le Fiend, and turn him over to the police. But wait — we first must find evidence against him and the stolen property. There are five cases pending, each with its own statute of limitation. A case is closed when Le Fiend is apprehended and booked. So hurry! Study the files below, grab your trenchcoat and meet me at Precinct 2600 — I’ll be waiting for you.” Sleuth wanted! Help Private Eye Touche navigate the city streets, parks, secret passages, dead-ends and one-ways in search of Henri Le Fiend and his gang. Evidence and stolen goods are scattered about — you’ll need to find these, too. Let the map and your memory be your guide. And let nothing go unnoticed.”
From the Box: “A Maze of Mystery. “Allow me to introduce myself. I am the great French Inspector Pierre Touche. And you? Well, enough with the formalities. Frankly, I need your help. “I’m in the throes of five phenomenal cases. Five mysteries with a central theme: Henri le Fiend, International scoundrel, first class. Last seen in New York. Soon to be apprehended and booked at Police Headquarters. With your help and a map that is now in our possession. “Step into my new 1937 Model A. I will drive high and low, through every alley, up every street, from Second Avenue to Central Park. I will find the evidence. I will find the Stolen goods. I WILL FIND LE FIEND!”
He’ll never find me! There are so many secret passages, dead-ends and one-ways – even the stoolie who drew that map couldn’t remember them all.”
“And we lurk in the shadows, with bricks and daggers – just in case.”
Join Pierre Touche in: “Safecracker Suite” “Closed on Mondays” “Dealing in Diamonds” “Rare Stamp Roulette” and “The Big Sweep”
Cryptically Designed by Bob Whitehead. For one sleuth.”
The Game Play: There are 5 cases to solve. they have you driving around the city and collecting evidence. Each case has a time limit and a section of the city, with case 5 being all 4 cases in one as the ultimate challenge. You search the city in Touche’s Model A, which can make 90 degree turns and jump up to 2 stories. You have to search out the stolen items, and return them to their owners. You can only carry one at a time, so be prepared to move around a lot. They can also be done in any order. After you return the first item, thugs will start to appear and throw daggers at you, jump to dodge them or you will lose the item you are carrying. You can also jump to catch ‘questionable characters’ leaning out of windows for extra points or items you need.
The Controls: Joystick Left/Right to accelerate. Up to drive into an alley or park lane. The difficulty switches actually do things in this game. The left one controls cruise control speed. A for fast, B for slow. The Right one controls jump height. A for variable, be for always highest.
Post Review: It’s easy to see why this game is ignored and not very much talked about. It’s all about mapping out the cases and figuring out the best way to reach where you need to go all while contending with the jerk criminals and their daggers. There is no way I would have known what to do with case 1 without looking it up, and it still took me about 3 tries to get it down knowing what to do. Private Eye is a challenge not everyone will be willing to undertake, but is so satisfying when you actually accomplish it.
High Score: Case 1 – 95259
Private Eye is also one of the games that you could win a patch from for getting high scores or completing a certain objective. Private Eyes patch was won from finishing case 3.