Clean Sweep

Clean Sweep promo

Developer GCE
Publishers GCE
Milton Bradley
Release date 1982
Genre Action
Modes Single player
1-2 players alternating
Media Cartridge
ROM file
Related title Mr. Boston

Due to the usual pattern of a game making it huge, clones of that game usually come next, which Clean Sweep proved to be no exception for when Pac-Man got gigantic in the arcade. However, even though the basics of Clean Sweep were pretty much identical to Pac-Man (clear mazes of dots, use special areas to turn the tables on your attackers), the idea of the game was totally changed, as the player(s) controlled a vacuum cleaner (!) used to suck up money that robbers have attempted to steal from the player's(s') blown-up bank.


The player(s) move(s) a vacuum through a maze in order to suck up dollar bills that are strewn throughout the screen. After several bills are vacuumed up, the vacuum will increase in size. After several size increases, the vacuum will become full and will not be able to vacuum up any more bills, so the money must be deposited in the vault in the center of the screen before the vacuum can start gathering up money again.

Robbers (which look like the player's blaster in the Tempest arcade game) begin appearing, entering via the two escape tunnels (as opposed to Pac-Man's one) that run vertically and horizontally in the maze. If a robber catches the player they will lose a life; run out of lives and the game will end.

Along with using the escape tunnels (which will warp the vacuum to the opposite end of the maze [i. e. entering an escape tunnel from the bottom will cause the player to reappear at the tunnel entrance at the top of the screen]), there are four special rooms -- one in each corner of the maze -- that the player can enter in order to be able to vacuum up the robbers for a brief time. The robbers will re-emerge from an escape tunnel seconds later though, and any remaining robbers that the player was not able to vacuum up will start blinking, indicating that they are about to return to their previous, dangerous form.

The difficulty level increases by having the vacuum fill up quicker, causing the player to make multiple trips to the vault during a level.


Main menuEdit

  • Choose between players--button one
  • Choose starting level--buttons two and three
  • Start game--button four


  • Move vacuum--joystick or D-pad


  • Vacuuming a bill--10 points
  • Depositing a bill--20 points
  • Supercharging--50 points
  • Sucking up robbers--100, 200, 400, 800 points (in succession)
  • Extra life--10,000 points

Starting levelsEdit

Game one is the regular game, whereas game two is a "lights out" variation where the maze walls cannot be seen.


  • After several levels are cleared, the infinity sign (a sideways 8) will appear at where the level number used to be, which the robbers will cease chasing the player then and just move about the maze in a certain pattern, never going back to their previous difficulty level. It is unknown if Clean Sweep was rushed to the market and this was not fixed or if this was intentional (although it would seem unlikely for the game to have its difficulty level max out so quickly).
  • Another version of this game was made available called Mr. Boston, which was a promotional release for a liquor company of the same name. The game is exactly the same except the player controls a top hat rather than a vacuum, plus an ad for the Mr. Boston company appears before the game starts. Less than 10 copies are known to exist and can sell for a very large amount of money.


Click on the tabber below for a review.

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What 80's console would be complete without a Pac-man clone. Cleansweep was designed by Jeff Corsiglia in 1982 and coded by Richard 'the mouse' Moszkowski who sadly died by his own hand in October 1995. Cleansweep is a good Pac-man clone with enough differences to set it apart from the original to sustain it's goodness and worth.

Cleansweep was used as an advertisement promotion for a shop called 'Mr. Boston' and only a few of these rare games exist which are identical to Cleansweep but the box has a Mr. Boston sticker and the overlay has the Mr. Boston name and logo on it. One of these rarities is owned by Chris Romero who often posts at the Vectrex news group, RGV.

Cleansweep centres around a bank which has been blown up by bank robbers and they have left money strewn everywhere around the bank and it is your job, as the bank manager, to gather all the cash up. The player pilots a vacuum cleaner which holds a limited amount of money, the money being similar to the dots in Pac-man, and must be emptied from time-to-time. The vacuum can be emptied by depositing the money and entering the vault located in the centre of the screen.

Special rooms are located in each corner of the bank maze and when entered the vacuum will be 'supercharged' and will have the ability to destroy the robbers. Once you have visited each special room once the door to it will be permanently closed until the next level. This adds up to 4 opportunities to intercept the enemy on each level. Cleansweep is fun and addictive and can be picked up easily on ebay usually for about $25.U.S

Score 6.5/10

Review written by Daniel Foot