Jack The Nipper (Gremlin) Review | Amstrad Action - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Action

Jack The Nipper
By Gremlin
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Action #12

Jack The Nipper

Young Jack is every parents worst nightmare. He's not just a naughty little boy; he's positively evil. His main aim in life is to smash anything he can get his hands on, drive adults up the wall, throw a spanner in the cogwheels of industry and generally cause as much trouble as possible. You'll be glad to know that, far from having to try to stop Jack...you are Jack. All aboard for second childhoods, kiddie psychopaths and revenge-wreaking parents.

All the action takes place in Jack's home town, which he's intent on livening up a bit. To do that, he's got to use a number of objects in the right places to cause havoc. The town is made up of several streets containing shops, houses and gardens, nearly all of which contain some potential mischief. Each location is shown in pseudo 3D and is packed with moving characters who really do deserve the phrase 'cartoon graphics'. There may not be much animation but the variety and detail of each character gives them real personality and humour.

All of the characters pose a danger to Jack because whenever he runs into anybody his 'rash rating' goes up until he loses a life, due to a very sore bum. Extra hefty scoldings will be handed out if he performs one of his acts of mischief and gets caught by the unfortunate victim. This sort of rough justice will also be meted out if he shoots people with his trusty pea-shooter.

As Jack moves about the town he can enter the doors of shops and buildings to do mischief, or move into another street through the top of some screens. He can't move back through the bottom of a street, but has to carry on through the screens until the street wraps around back to the starting position. This isn't much of an inconvenience since there are only a few streets, but it means that a good knowledge of the street layout is helpful.

The pranks that Jack can perpetrate are fairly straightforward but aren't always easy to complete without getting a bad spanking. Dropping things from a great height so that they smash and shooting things with the pea-shooter are fairly obvious. but using some of the other objects is more fun. Many shops are vulnerable to attack, by overloading the launderette's washing machines with powder, for example, or shorting out all the computers in the 'Just Micro' computer shop. Only two objects can be carried at once, but after they've been used they can be disposed of in the most destructive manner you can think of.

This isn't a particularly tough game on the adventuring side, but while you're still trying to find all the objects and work out what to do with them it's tremendous fun. The cartoon graphics really are good and add a great deal to the game's impact. You'll fall in love with this little horror straight away and the great beauty is that, unlike the real thing, you can turn him off whenever you like.

Second Opinion

For once here's a game with real cartoon graphics - the characters look like they've stepped straight out of "The Beano", and there's a plot to match. It's a totally breakable game, and you just won't be able to resist it. Go on, give 'em hell!

Third Opinion

As the proud father of a two-year old, I could really feel for this game. The graphics are excellent and the humour funny for once, but whether it'll keep the dedicated player involved for long is another matter.

Good News

P. Very attractive cartoon graphics.
P. Plenty of humour.
P. Most tasks are pleasantly destructive.
P. Enough locations and objects to present a reasonable challenge.
P. Most kids aren't quite this bad.

Bad News

N. Loses interest once you've solved most puzzles.

First Day Target Score

50 per cent, or 'Prankster'.

Green Screen View

For a game with such great use of colour, this one looks pretty good in green - certainly no visibility problems.

Bob Wade

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