Total Recall (video game)

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Total Recall
Total Recall (video game) (Cover).jpg
Developer(s)Ocean Software, Interplay Entertainment
Publisher(s)Ocean Software, Acclaim Entertainment
Composer(s)George Sanger (NES)
David Warhol (NES)
Platform(s)Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Nintendo Entertainment System
Release1990, 1991
Genre(s)Action, platformer

Total Recall is a video game based on the 1990 film Total Recall.

Development and release[edit]

Total Recall was released in 1990, and 1991 by Ocean Software for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, and Amstrad CPC.

There was also a NES version which was notably different from the others, being developed by a different team (Interplay), who were subcontracted by Acclaim Entertainment. Interplay defended the changes, however, claiming that their alteration stuck closer to the spirit of the original short story, which they said "read more like a platformer."[citation needed] In a tie-in with the NES game, the August 1990 version of Nintendo Power promoted the game for their well-known monthly mail-in contests, with the Rekall slogan of "Making the Impossible Possible" whereby first prize would be one of the Martian police uniforms along with a videotaped trip to Hollywood with a chance to meet Schwarzenegger. Years later, the magazine admitted that it was their worst promotion, as "our winner did not get to meet Arnold until late 1991, and even then only for a quick handshake."[1]


The game features 2D action, platformer scenes and top-down racing scenes, with the player controlling Douglas Quaid.


Crash reviewer Mark rated the game 94%, and Richard rated the game 93% and stated he loved the game, and that players would too: "Don't bother getting Rekall to remember it for you: go out and experience Total Recall for real!"[2] The reviewer from German magazine Power Play rated the NES version at 39% and wondered why Quiad is so stupid, trying to get rid of every bad guy on the right path and lure them into dark alleys only to offer a boring fight, commenting that these sequences should not have been programmed at all, and that apart from that, a lot of parts seem like a graphically strong stripped down Double Dragon.[3] Zzap #71 (Mar 1991) rated the game C64 version of the game at 76%.[4] Another Power Play reviewer rated the Amiga version at 33% and the C 64 version at 34%, and felt that the endless opponents approaching him mean will result in the demise of the character, thanks to the sloppy controls, and that after a short time the frustrated player will throw the joystick in a corner—this is true for the C-64 version as well as for the 16-bit version.[5]

Several reviewers rated the Amiga version of the game. CU Amiga (Nov 1990) rated the game 77% and said "It's by no means a bad game, just a little stale. It follows a very successful formula but fails to rise above it."[6] Computer + Video Games #111 (Feb 1991) rated the game 62% and said "a very polished game, but one I can only recommend to very patient players who haven't become bored of Ocean's film license format, which is beginning to look pretty tired nowadays."[7] The One magazine gave the game 70% and stated that "When you accept the game for what it is and not for what it could have been it's not half bad: there is enough action to last some time if you become hooked. However, with so many better platform and race games around, it's doubtful you will recall it in a year's time."[8] Amiga Action #18 (Mar 1991) rated the Amiga version of the game 78% and said "Total Recall wasn't on the top of my list for games I was looking forward to I must confess. However, it is in fact quite good."[9] Amiga Format #20 (Mar 1991) rated the game 77% and said "A solid, polished package, only its late arrival, due to slipping in the schedules, deprived it of a full review.[10] Zzap! #72 (Apr 1991) rated the game 70%.[11]

Amiga Mania (Oct 1992) rated the Hit Squad re-release of the game at 81% and said "It's all full of style and all the things you wouldn't expect to find in a normal budget game, from the way Quaid crouches and fires to the fact that there's even a car chase!"[12] Amiga Format #40 (Nov 1992) rated the game at 79% and said "The overall impression is one of a competent game which doesn't push the Amiga to within a tenth of its abilities."[13] Amiga Action #37 (Oct 1992) rated the game 78% and said "If you like your games to give you a challenge at an affordable price then this is worth checking out, but there are far better products out there."[14] CU Amiga rated the game 63%.[15] Amiga Power #18 (Oct 1992) rated the game 41% and said "Nice graphics, not-very-nice gameplay. Total Recall? (Totally predictably) Total Rubbish, more like."[16]

Electronic Gaming Monthly's Seanbaby placed it as number 15 in his "20 worst games of all time" feature.[17] The game reached number 2 in the UK sales charts, behind Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.[18]


  1. ^ Nintendo Power, May 1995
  2. ^ Mark and Richard (March 1991). "Total Recall". Crash (Issue 86). Ocean.
  3. ^ Power Play (January 1991)
  4. ^ Wynne, Stuart; Hogg, Robin (March 1991). "Total Recall". Zzap 71. Ocean. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  5. ^ Power Play (April 1991)
  6. ^ "Total Recall review from CU Amiga (Nov 1990) - Amiga Magazine Rack". Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  7. ^
  8. ^ The One #29 - February 1991 (pages 67–68)
  9. ^ "Total Recall review from Amiga Action 18 (Mar 1991) - Amiga Magazine Rack". Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  10. ^ "Total Recall review from Amiga Format 20 (Mar 1991) - Amiga Magazine Rack". Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  11. ^ Wynne, Stuart; Hogg, Robin (April 1991). "Total Recall". Zzap 72. Ocean. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Seanbaby's EGM's Crapstravaganza - #15: Total Recall (NES)". Archived from the original on July 7, 2006. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  18. ^ "The YS Rock'n'Roll Years - Issue 65". Archived from the original on May 11, 2016. Retrieved October 13, 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)

External links[edit]