released on Dec 31, 1988


released on Dec 31, 1988

Narc is a 1-2 player game, where your mission is to infiltrate the Mr. Big Corporation, the scourge of the underworld. To do this, you must get through the game's eight stages, with over ten sectors like the junkyard, subway, drug lab, nursery, downtown, Sunset Strip, and even the corporation, where Mr. Big resides. In order to get through the stages, you are required to collect a number of safe cards, and insert them in the slot next to the stage exit. Each sector includes a map, and should be easy to read. For example, the blue or red dots represent you, and the white dots are the missile launchers, while the "E" indicates the exit.

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Almost feels like Duke Nukem's progenitor. A rather ugly power fantasy shooter with one hell of a final boss.

The anti-drug movement went hard.

Twentieth GOTW finished for 2023. Sure it's campy, broken, and funny, but it's also unfair, not very enjoyable to play, and that final boss can eat my whole asshole.

Anti-drug, and badass, the perfect game.

Ronald Reagan's dogshit self and presidency paved the way for a lot of totally absurd anti-drug propaganda in the 80s, this being one of the most infamous examples as far as I know. In this game, you kill every drug user you see! Shoot them! Blow them up! Run them over!

Those are pretty goddamn skewed priorities, no? You pose a much greater threat to civilian life than any of these people combined, except maybe Mr. Big, the owner of the "K.R.A.K." drug trafficking organization, and he's only on the same level because he is also an evil giant moving head who shoots fire and...tongues. What are you accomplishing by not just killing him first, but instead painting the whole town red because you saw some junkies?

Who is this even aimed for? It's not aimed for children, what with the violence and gore, or perhaps the various porno stores and theaters in the background of stage 4. Were teenagers or young adults supposed to think this was cool? Maybe they were, honestly. It seems like back then it was really easy to win people over with anything that had blood in it. It seems like it worked, too, because most criticism on release appears to revolve around the violence rather than just, how completely questionable it is.

I ditched at the final boss. He absolutely tears through your health since you don't seem to have invincibility frames. Every time you use a credit at him, the battle starts from the beginning for some damn reason, which doesn't happen in earlier levels or any other fucking arcade game. I looked up the ending and it says "You have completed your narc training mission. Contact your local DEA recruiter." No sir, I don't think I will do that.

Right off the bat, I'll agree that this game plays like total shit. It's insanely monotonous and unfair. BUT, this game is also nearly everything I grew to love about this old generation of games (and movies) and the way they were presented.

NARC gets a fairly high score from me because for the past two decades of my life, parts of this game won't leave my brain. From the stupid ass death cries, to the ear-violating celebration sounds from completing a stage, to the "BEEP-BEEP-BOOP '511 in progress' Drrrrdodoo* 'LET'S GO!" stage introductions in your character's dashboard, to the goofy-ass enemies portrayed by digitized actors, EVERYTHING about this game is so goddamn charming and hilarious.

I don't want to argue with my soul and give this a lower score, my heart won't allow it! You don't have to like cops to like NARC, but you probably do have to love the most obnoxious and insipid aspects of 80s culture of violence and mayhem to like NARC.