Most likely the only courtroom simulation in existence that lets you be the judge as opposed to the lawyers, Crime and Punishment is a unique and intriguing sim that is a result of many years of research by the designers. As the presiding judge, your task is to review the details of each case in order to make a decision on whather to put the defendant on probation, in jail, or in prison. If you think the defendant deserves some jail or prison time, you must also decide on how long you want him or her to stay in the slammer. |
Crime and Punishment contains an amazing array of cases given its small size-- from minor crimes such as hijacking, to first-degree murders. The amount of information you can request is also staggering: from the value of property damage or loss, offender-victim relationship, prior convictions, and even pre-sentence reports including the defendant's behavior in court, as well as his or her mental history. Any information you discover is recorded automatically by the game, and you can call up the list by choosing "Review the Known Facts" from the main menu. Although there is no limit on the number of facts you can review, your rating as a judge declines with each new fact you request. You must therefore reach a verdict with the minimal number of facts (inquiring about the age of offender, for instance, is hardly necessary for petty thievery cases). After you decide on a verdict, your decision is then compared with the real judge's verdict, and you are given the "judicial IQ." Although sometimes the real judge's verdict seems questionable, and unfortunately there is a lack of career mode (the game doesn't keep track of your IQ from case to case), Crime and Punishment has enough great gameplay and solid research behind it to satisfy armchair judges of all ages. Two thumbs up!
Note: The download here is the "warez" PC version, but it's somehow missing graphics and background information the Commodore 64 has. If you have an intact PC copy of this, let me know!
Reviewed by: Underdogs