Gangster Alley is an Atari 2600 game that challenges players to take down a group of five notorious criminals who have evaded the Spectravision Bureau of Investigation (S.B.I.) and are hiding out in Gangster Alley. These criminals have taken a woman and a child hostage, and it’s up to the player to eliminate the criminals without harming the hostages.
The game offers four variations, with odd-numbered games for one player and even-numbered games for two players. Standard versions are games one and two, while games three and four are designed for children, featuring slower gameplay.
Players control a gunsight using the joystick controller to aim and shoot at the criminals appearing in the windows of the building or on the rooftop. The player must be cautious not to accidentally shoot the hostages. Successfully hitting a criminal will cause an explosion, indicating a successful hit.
Players begin with four rounds of ammunition, each consisting of six bullets, and three bullet-proof vests. A bonus is awarded for each unused bullet when the game pauses for the criminals to reload their weapons. The game ends when the player loses all their bullet-proof vests or if Nitro Ed, one of the criminals, successfully drops a grenade.
Players earn rewards and rank based on their performance. As the game progresses, the scene transitions into a night scene, where the windows blend into the building, and players must rely on their special night sight to illuminate the scene when firing.
To improve gameplay, players should be prepared for the night scene after completing phase three and be cautious when focusing on Nitro Ed, as it provides an opportunity for other criminals to strike.