CRASH Smash

JASPER

Producer: Micromega
Memory required: 48K
Retail price: £6.95
Language: machine code
Author: Derek Brewster

Micromega have two games in this issue, and both are by the same author. Kentilla is a text/graphics adventure in the classic vein, but with Jasper Derek Brewster has changed tack completely (although it could well be called an arcade/adventure game) and taken himself and Micromega far away from the universe of 3D. Jasper is an all swinging, all singing, all dancing jump, hop and collect game in the tradition of Jet Set Willy. However collecting here isn’t a question of collecting for points but because the various objects have a strictly defined purpose and use, which is what adds the adventure element.

Screenshot

Jasper’s a real swinger when it come to big cats

Jasper is a mouse and the basic object of the game is to guide him from the start screen to the finishing screen without getting finished off en route. There are 22 screens to negotiate, all linked in the sense that you can move from one to the next and back again (or in one case down and up again). This is rather important because Jasper can only carry five objects at a time which means often having to drop something and then return for it. Consequently the 22 screens become more in terms of completing the game. The items collected (by standing on them and pressing the collect key) appear in small boxes at the top of the playing area and they may be used by pressing the appropriate numerical key. Each object does have a specific use — ropes are pretty obvious, but umbrellas? Well think carefully — this is a cartoon comic strip — press the button when forced to leap off a high place and bingo — the brolly opens to lower Jasper to the ground safely. Once used an object vanishes.

Up against Jasper are a series of problems which include traditional platform strategical thinking, various animated animals like big cats, bunnies, wasps, spiders, snakes and scorpions, flowers which may be helpful or lethal and natives that throw coconuts and spears. Each screen has its own identity and share of the horrors. Fortunately Jasper has a mighty leap and can walk on two feet or duck down to all fours. Indeed, Jasper is a Mighty Mouse.

CRITICISM

Screenshot

If you go down to the woods today you’re sure of a big surprise

COMMENTS

Control keys: A/S left/right, Y to P up (rope), jump and release rope (when swinging), H to ENTER down (rope), and duck, B to SPACE = get an object, 1 to 5 = use carried object by box number, Q to T plus 1 to 5 = drop carried object.
Joystick: none — too many keys
Keyboard play: highly responsive, with two directional keys next to each other, leaves other hand free for key selection, but a programmable joystick might be an advantage here
Use of colour: excellent, very varied and bright
Graphics: excellent, marvellous animation and detail, fast and smooth and without any flicker
Sound: continuous tune and spot effects
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 3
Screens: 22
General rating: addictive, highly playable and highly recommended.

Use of computer86%
Graphics96%
Playability91%
Getting started90%
Addictive qualities94%
Value for money89%
Overall91%

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