What a caper! Yeah, it's pitifully predictable, but I love this game. Okay, so it's a plattie pure and simple - the sort of thing that usually turns perfectly reasonable reviewers puce with fury - but what an addictive one. Gor lumme, this little beauty makes Jet Set Willy and all his various brothers, nephews and cousins look like a 4K fruit machine simulator rejected by Program Pitstop.
For one thing, the whole kaboodle is crammed full o'screens, 192 in all. And there's enough going on in each of them to make you wonder why no-one's done anything as good as this before. 'Cos amazingly enough this is a single loader, even on my cranky old 48K rubber keyboard. And the game's so challenging I bet you'll be Araldited to that self-same keyboard for weeks on end if you're not careful.
You know the story - the Nipper family have been deported from our fair isle and bunged on a plane to Oz, which seems a nice long way away, but Jack's not too keen on this and parachutes out of the plane, followed closely by Nipper Sr. Finding himself in the jungle, Jack wanders about being extremely naughty and avoiding Pops and the inevitable spanking.
You can play the game in various different ways - either for maximum naughtiness (as measured in the naughtyometer), or for a high score, which you'll get by popping off the assembled jungly sprites and by solving the occasional problem. Or you can try and get both if you're greedy. You can carry two things at once - one's a weapon (coconuts, blowpipe or shield) and the other is an object for being excessively naughty with - for instance when you pass Tarzan you'll find that the grease may come in very useful indeed! As for getting around screens, it's not as hard to survive as in, for example, the Monty games, where you seem to get killed off willy nilly. But you won't get bored - there's too much to do and see for that.
So, another little spanker from Gremlin. As always with that company, the graphics are immaculate - colourful and with clash down to a minimum. The sprite masking's particularly impressive - an object lesson to everyone else, I think. And the jokes - well, hilarious, as always. Leave Jack for a moment and he'll start raking around in his nostril - bleuggghh! Quite what he does with the contents is never made clear (pass the sick bag).
Now, if you'll excuse me. I must have another swift game before the Ed comes back from lunch...
This month, Bargain Basement is brought to you by YS's two (almost) resident heart-throbs (or so they keep telling us) JONATHAN DAVIES and RICH PELLEY. Hoorah!
Reviewer: Jonathan Davies
With a plot that could have been written by Tight Fit, Jack finds himself stranded in the jungle with the back of his father's hand in hot pursuit. So what's he going to try to do. Escape? Nope, he's going to be as naughty as possible. There are certainly plenty of natives to pester, and the birds and animals look a bit vulnerable too. There are also lots of vines to swing on, coconuts to throw around, rivers to jump across and, um, trains to catch. The graphics, as in the original Jack, are excellent and with more colour this time. Sound effects haven't been forgotten, either, as there are also lots of beepy tunes and things. It's so exciting, it really is. At barg level this one really can't be ignored, so buy, buy, er, buy.
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