Your Sinclair1st March 1992
Published in Your Sinclair #75
Super Seymour Saves The Planet
Despite the fact that Seymour looks remarkably like a blob of vaseline, he could easily become as deeply engraved on the hearts of us Spec-chums as Dizzy.
That is, if the world lasts that long, what with the way we humans are treating it. Pollution and all that kind of thing. Disgraceful. Luckily the Codies are on the case and, never ones to make light of such serious issues, have sent Seymour to deal with the problem by wiping out the Mutato Heads - baddies who've sprung up from mankinds effluence and are generally creating havoc, as baddies do. He's got his Super Mask, he's got his Super Cape, and he's going to take out those nasties in the most effective way possible: by jumping on their heads. What a hero, eh?
Loading up the game for the first time, the keener (and more 'mature') trainspotter will notice its uncanny resemblance to A Very Famous Game Indeed. See if you can guess which one from the following description. (And by peeking at the screenshots, as I was never much good at describing things.)
Each screen has an attractively drawn background, and a whole lot of platforms and uprights in the foreground. As f that wasn't enough, most of the gaps in between are filled with formations of bo... sorry, er, 'static toxics' which need to be collected, and in the right order too if you're after a top score. A quick stab at the fire button sends Seymour leaping into the air, his cape flapping in the breeze, and the precise angle and height of his jump can then be controlled using the joystick. Meanwhile, baddies circle menacingly, hoping to bump into Seymour and make him lose a life. Baddies are like that - despicable.
Right, hands up who reckons we're looking at a thinly disguised ('pollution', indeed) rip-off of that early-Eighties hit, Bombjack? Me too. But why've the Codies suddenly decided to resurect Bombjack after all these years? P'raps they reckon we've all got a bit old and senile since then, and wouldn't know the difference if we were given a laser base, a block of aliens and some covering story about Seymour having to save the world from a freak but deadly shower of bicycle clips. Or p'raps they were originally going to call it Bombjack Simulator, and then remembered they don't do 'Simulators' any more. Or maybe it's just all one big spook coincidence.
What's more likely, though, is that they remembered what smashing fun Bombjack was, and thought it would be a jolly good idea to do a new version of it with a few extra bits and pieces (but without changing it too much in case they ruined it).
The bits and pieces in question are essentially the part about jumping on baddies heads - once to stun them and a couple more times to finish them off - and power-ups, which appear when a baddie dies. These include (it says here) Super Blow, Super Spit, Super Snare, Super Sprint and Super Duper leap, although the only two I've come across (notoriously crap as I am) are one which, upon prodding the 'spit' key (if you can remember which one you defined it as) sends what locks like a glob of saliva flying towards your foe, killing it instantly - probably Super Spit - and something which whirls off the screen, carrying the hapless baddie harmlessly with it - Super Blow, no doubt.
It's so long since I last played Bombjack that I can't really remember what made it so addictive. All I can remember is that it was, indeed, very addictive, that I could get through hundreds of screens without dying, and that the sequel wasn't half as good. And Super Seymour is just the same! Except it hasn't got a sequel, let alone one that isn't half as good. Not yet, anyway. In fact, it had me so gripped that it was only when I was in danger of missing my tea (sausages, chips and peas - my favourite) that I finally managed to switch it off. The only thing that annoyed me slightly was that most of the time when I got killed it wasn't attributable to any obvious strategic deficiency on my part. I'd just been cornered by a whole bunch of Mutato Heads and there wasn't much I could do about it. Still, eh?
Super Seymour, then, is just the ticket for fun-starved games players everywhere - fast, unpredictable, unputdownable and cheap.
One you'll keep coming back to again and again (if you can tear yourself away in the first place, that is).