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Retro Game of the Day! Hogan's Alley

Retro Game of the Day is a daily look back at some of the games we loved - and some that we didn't - during the formative years. Today's entry is Hogan's Alley.

Ron Alpert, Blogger

October 5, 2010

2 Min Read

Retro Game of the Day! Hogan's Alley

Hogan's Alley by Nintendo, appearing in the arcade originally in 1984 and ported to the NES a year later (launched 2 years later in North America).

A very old Nintendo game, Hogan's Alley was a great one to pick up if you'd recently bought yourself a NES and had grown tired of shooting birds in Duck Hunt. Very simple and straightforward, the game represented a super-simplification of police training maneuvers which harkened back to the older mechanical "pop-up target shooting" games which were quite popular in arcades before electronic video games came in and completely took over!

As noted, very simple gameplay. Cardboard cut-outs would roll into view sideways, and then flip to face you. If it was a gangster, fill him with led. If it's a beat cop, innocent woman, or professor, you'd better not shoot! "Stay alive" by killing thugs and not hitting the innocents.. that's it. As with many of this type of game, it started off quite easily but then ramped up quickly.

The game was pretty nice for it's day, and came with the usual pre-dawn Nintendo bells and whistles (lots of color, bouncy music, several game modes). Ultimately the game is quite shallow and doesn't have "staying power," but when you consider this released during a time when such a thing was revolutionary, all is forgiven. Still, if you are looking for some fun 8-bit blasting, this is a good go-to for that retro charge (that spring-loaded Zapper trigger always felt so gratifying to pull!) Additionally, a "trick shooting" extra mode was included which was quite difficult compared to the rest of the game. No big deal, but a nice touch to round out the package.

Like most of Nintendo's ancient 8-bit lineup, Hogan's Alley is worth a look if somewhat forgettable. Those with an interest in more engaging light-gun content from the period would do well to check out the next step up from this, such as Sunsoft's (slightly) similarly-themed Freedom Force, which is an excellent game for the peripheral.

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