Amstrad Action1st November 1990
Published in Amstrad Action #62
Rick Dangerous 2
Rick Dangerous, professional hero and part time car park attendant, is off again. He just can't sit still for five minutes without going on some top-secret mission. or retrieving some long lost artifact, or saving the world from aliens.
That's what he's up to this time. A humongous great UFO has landed right in the middle of Hyde Park, London. Everyone else has run away, screaming. But not Rick. Quick as a flash, he nips into the nearest 'phone box and calls the fire brigade. Then he comes out with his underpants on top of his trousers, ready for anything.
The only way to prevent the world being conquered by these extra terrestrials, Rick reasons, is to capture their spaceship and fly off to the aliens' home planets. So that's exactly what he intends to do. He's going to visit interesting and exotic places, meet bizarre and wonderful lifeforms, and kill them.
There are five levels in total. Four of them can be accessed at will, so if you get stuck on one, you can try another and go back to it later. The fifth can only be reached once you complete the other four in one mammoth session.
They are arranged roughly in order of difficulty (though that's not to say that any of them are easy). So you'd be well advised to start at Level One and work your way through.
Level One starts in Hyde Park, below the huge metallic hulk of the space-craft. It begins with laser beams spitting as our hero runs for the entrance hatch...
The main part of this level is inside the alien spaceship. There are plenty of traps lying in wait for Rick. They mainly seem to involve robots and lasers. It's tough, but not tough enough to stop our hero.
Solving this (or selecting from the menu) brings you to Level Two. Now that Rick has taken control of the ship, he can fly away to the various planets that the nasties hail from. The first port of call is planet Freezia. Here there are slippery platforms and icicles that drop without warning.
Next we visit Vegetablia. This is a jungle planet, and Rick's journey takes him high up among the treetops. There are many possible paths through this section, so if you're stumped by one route, try another.
The Atomic Mud Mines are the most perilous stage yet. Rumbling wagons and rolling barrels are new threats that must be avoided. To make things even more difficult, many of the passageways are covered in thick mud that bogs him down. And Level Five? Well, we'll leave that one for you to discover... [You mean you haven't got that far - Ed]
The gameplay is very similar to the original Rick Dangerous, with the Fire button being used in conjunction with the stick to produce various actions. This time, however, the bombs can be shoved along the floor, exploding a few seconds later at a safe distance - vital at many points.
The screen scrolls when you get close to the edges. Going up and down reveals more of the same area. Leaving a screen to the left or right shifts the entire area across, revealing a new screen. If you then die (you will!) then you'll start afresh from your last entry point to a new area.
Of course there are tons of traps, lots of secret buttons to find, and plenty of perils to prevent Rick succeeding.
Just as Rick one captured the Indiana Jones style so perfectly, Rick Two follows the Flash Gordon genre to a tee. It just goes to show what a versatile hero he is! And if Rick Dangerous was a pretty game, Rick Dangerous 2 is beautiful. It's extremely bright and colourful, and the graphics are cuter than fluffy white bunny-rabbits.
Each level has an entirely different set of graphics. The backgrounds, traps and sprites have been redrawn. In fact the only thing that links them together is Rick himself, who looks the same dashing hero throughout the game.
For the most part, sound consists of effects to represent such things as firing, bombs exploding and traps activating. There's a suitably adventurish style tune on the title screen. As the game starts a short piece of music plays before fading and allowing the fx to to cut in. This start-of-game music is different for each level! It's extremely atmospheric too, and all the music sounds finely tuned to fit in with the scenario.
Play it on a Plus machine and you'll even find the stereo is used to great effect. As the laser beams thunder across the screen, the sound is echoed from side to side through the appropriate speaker!
Rick Dangerous II is a very polished product indeed. A tremendous amount of work has gone into the game design, graphics and sound. In essence, it's a simple platform game, but the way it's been presented makes it far, far more than that.
RD2 is a compulsive game. When a trap catches you by surprise it's annoying, but frustration develops into determination and you'll keep on going until you beat the blasted thing. And if you do get stuck, the four levels (five, if you get that far), are different enough to make it almost like having four separate games.
The graphics are a bit, blocky and the game style itself is distinctly old. But the whole thing is done just brilliantly. No question about it - an instant Mastergame!
First Day Target Score
Complete level one.
P. Colourful and cute.
P. Different pics for different levels.
P. Each level has its own excellent tune.
P. Good sound effects.
Grab Factor 98%
P. Fans of Rick Dangerous will feel at home right away.
P. Simple game architecture with tough puzzles.
Staying Power 97%
P. Five mega-addictive levels.
P. Every time you play, you progress.
Warning: This game is dangerous!