CJ's Elephant Antics

by Big Red Software Ltd: R. Fred Williams, David T. Clark, Peter J. Ranson, Chris Graham, Lyndon Sharp
Code Masters Ltd
Crash Issue 86, March 1991   (1991-02-21)   page(s) 47

Poor CJ, a liccle elephant, has been captured and is being flown to a zoo many miles away from his native homeland. CJ didn't want any of this and jumped from the plane, grabbing an umbrella to help him reach the ground safely (fat lot of use that would be for a two-ton elephant!). You now have to guide CJ back to his jungle home.

On his adventures, CJ travels through four levels of arcade mayhem, visiting Paris, Iceland, Egypt and the jungle before he can hear those native drums again. Of course, it's not just going to be a matter of jumping on the tube and getting off at Jungle Station - CJ has to battle his way through hordes of nasties and traverse the many devious platform puzzles before he can put his feet up (if that's what elephants do). All is not lost, as the little fellow is armed (or trunked) with monkey nuts, which easily pop off any predator.

All the backgrounds and sprites in CJs Elephant Antics are excellently drawn and coloured. The animation of CJ and the other characters is also well done and gameplay is addictive right from the start. A jolly tune brings the game to life at the beginning and goes on, and on, and on... it soon becomes irritating!

CJ's Elephant Antics is a great arcade romp packed with great graphics and addictive gameplay. And for all you fans of realism, you can make a trunk to wear while playing the game out of an old toilet roll tube and some double-sided stick tape (thank you, Nick -Ed).

Overall: 81%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 66, June 1991   page(s) 73

Not fancying the prospect of spending the rest of his life in an zoo, CJ The Elephant has bailed out of the aeroplane which was taking him to England, using a nearby umbrella as a parachute. Worse still, he's landed in France, with miles (or at least levels) to go in order to get back to his loving family in deepest Africa.

A slightly unfeasible plot, yes (elephants opening umbrellas?), but still a pretty decent multiway scrolling platformy game - a bit like a scrolling Rick Dangerous dare I say (not that that's too much of a bad thing of course).

Firstly, as in Ricky D, the majority of the baddies walk along short platforms in set patterns. and so have to be shot with a peanut (lethal apparently) or bombed with a bomb (if you've collected some). None of this is too tricky, although it does take some time to work where to stand so it's the baddy that's killed, and not you. Also rather Rick Dangerously there are spikes and stuff everywhere (usually directly below you when you leap from a platform and impale yourself on one) so the trick in order to progress is to sort of memorise the layout of each level.

At this point in the review, I think it might be appropriate to mention the graphics, the sound, and how addictive and playable CJ's Elephant Antics is (if at all). Well, the graphics are quite colourful and well drawn (though you do merge in with the background), but the scrolling is extremely jerky. Tsk. And the sound is okayish too. As for addictiveness, well, it comes out trumps (or should that be trunks?), easy to progress (although some parts are seemingly impossible to pass without losing a life). There's a number (I'm not quite sure how many) of different levels, each one set in a different country with varied backgrounds, baddies and end-of-level nasties which adds variety and stems the flow of boredom (although the initial screens admittedly do get repetitive after a while). One extra bonus is the simultaneous 2-player option where the players take a CJ each and work together, which I imagine would up the fun factor considerably (even if it is rather pointless as far as the gameplay goes). A severe lack of friends however means that I can't supply you with any conclusive evidence on that one. (It's a sad story. Ed)

Okay, so he's hardly going to become as famous as Nellie or Undercover, but if we forgive it its jerky scrolling and severe lack of originality, I'd say that CJ The Elephant deserves to become a bit of a star. Antics is simple, cute, clean and cliched fun, and certainly worth its bob or two.

Overall: 85%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Crash - Excellent City Issue 91, August 1991   (1991-07-18)   page(s) 56

Code Masters

Platform action over a huge scrolling map, gameplay akin to New Zealand Story for one or two players, controlling athletic elephants! A great arcade romp packed with colourful graphics and addictive gameplay. Elephant Antics presents a huge challenge, too.

Overall 81%

Overall: 81%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Crash - Excellent City Issue 90, July 1991   (1991-06-20)   page(s) 34

Platform action over a huge scrolling map, gameplay akin to New Zealand Story for one or two players, controlling athletic elephants! A great arcade romp packed with colourful graphics and addictive gameplay. Elephant Antics presents a huge challenge, too.

Overall: 81%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 110, April 1991   page(s) 39

Ladieees and Gentlemen. May I present for your edification, Codemaster's latest, and possibly greatest release, involving the antics of CJ the elephant.

What a big build up, and was it worth it you may ask? Well, the short answer is ye. The slightly longer answer is yes. The poor little guy was caught in Africa and put into a plane to be shipped to England to be a central exhibit at some place or another. Luckily enough, the plane hit some turbulance over Paris and CJ grabbed a brolly and made a desperate bid for freedom. Once landed in Paris however, CJ soon realises that he's not cut out to be a vogue-esque Parisian and decides to hack it back to Africa, thus avoiding all that greasy food and having to learn a new language.

So there's the plot. Our little hero must make his way through each country on the route back to his hometown. He must jump, shoot and bomb his way past various nasty lowlife as he trucks along the horizontally scrolling landscape.

A two-player mode also allows for double trouble as you try to work together to get through the screens and makes CJ's Elephant Antics an excellent original budget game.

Reviewer: Garth Sumpter

Graphics: 85%
Sound: 80%
Playability: 88%
Lastability: 86%
Overall: 85%

Summary: Zut alors! A colourful and highly playable game that is heavy on entertainment and light on price. Go on - buy CJ and save the elephants.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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