Bomb Jack (Elite) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

Bomb Jack
By Elite
Commodore 64

Published in Commodore User #32

Bomb Jack

The first of Elite's trio of arcade-licensed games for 1986 has arrived with their conversion of Tehkan's platform challenger Bombjack.

Where I normally find the standard platform fare about as interesting as waiting for a nightbus, Bombjack provides incentive to keep on playing. Each screen is short - by which I mean it can be quickly completed. And that's not suggesting it's easy. It's harder than the coin-op version.

If you haven't played the game before, let me set the scene. Jack is a sort of super Mickey Mouse. Complete with cape and natty little red suit he flits around five different screens collecting piles of bombs left lying casually around. Each screen is progressively more difficult to crack and there are four levels worth. Each time you progress a level the platform set up has changed slightly and the nasties are faster.

Jack is helped in his task by three coins. E gives him an extra life, B a bonus and P freezes the nasties. That's all the help he gets - there's only one of each per screen. The rest is down to your stick control.

Jack flies when you press up and hit the fire button, but you'll need to master the hovering technique if you're going to crack this game and get anything like decent scores. Bombjack you see, works on a bonus system (who doesn't?) if he collects the bombs in the order they flash he gets a firebomb bonus. Not easy, I can tell you.

Graphically, this looks just like the original but I do have a slight moan. Some of the colours clash. So at crucial times you're left squinting to find the odd bomb. The backgrounds are nice and colourful but the indistinction could cause problems. The tune's not exactly endearing but it lends itself well to the pace of the game.

I must admit I didn't expect to find myself glued to Bombjack over the bank holiday but it did the trick. If Elite rate this as the weakest of their three releases then I'm certainly looking forward to the rest.

Mike Pattenden

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