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1986
Arcade: Adventure
£7.95
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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43
Marcus Berkmann
Chris Bourne

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...

Nippy little number that'll give plattie fans heavy jungle fever. You'd have to be coconuts not to like it!

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Screenshot Text

Jack enjoys a pick while wondering what to do next. He could perch on that little red log which floats off to the left but that would mean avoiding the gorilla and trying not to jump onto the rope (all too easy when you don't want to). And don't leave the honey there, either. It could come in useful later when you want some natives to buzz off (hint).