Bomb Jack II (Elite) Review | Amstrad Computer User - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Computer User

Bomb Jack II
By Elite
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Computer User #57

Bomb Jack II

Explosive action as small man is eaten alive by Lizard.

Contrary to what you might think, Bomb Jack II is not a rare groove house mix but rather the sequel to one of the more memorable platform games of the early 1980s.

Elite Systems has decided to unleash the sequel on the unsuspecting public once more, thanks to its budget label, Encore, so you may even have this game in your collection already. If you cannot remember I would advise you not to buy it again just because it is cheaper - it has not improved.

Bomb Jack II

The premise of Bomb Jack II is simple. Leap from platform to platform, stabbing enemies, collecting all the treasures. Still, if BJ2 was a good action game, with plenty of excitement, snappy sonics and gripping graphics that would not matter; you could justifiably say that it was satisfactory.

Alas, it's not a good action game: the sonics are squeaks, the graphics just coloured blobs and you could justifiably say only that it was as interesting as a puddle.

The puddle simulator starts in the great outdoors; note that the backdrops are completely irrelevant and serve only to distract the eye from following what passes for action. You can leap sideways to a platform on your level, straight up to a platform directly above, or you can run round on the platform you are on. The tricky part is when you have to leap up to a platform occupied by a monster before you can reach the platform where the last treasure awaits.

Bomb Jack II

It is tricky because the monsters are dificult to deal with in a random kind of way. Catch one from behind, stab, stab... and it is history. Alternatively, end up in front and you are pushed along, your energy level declining faster than the NHS.

Once depleted, there is no hospital bed - just a life lost and wasted. What is really tricky is that some of the platforms which contain a monster and have to be traversed are very small, making it very dificult to get in a clean stab and finish the job early.

If you dilly-daily the monsters will mutate to a new form, sometimes a form more amenable to stabbing as well, so do not be afraid to wait if you cannot see a way out. One generation of uglies even leaps round the screen, which makes life more perilous in the short term, but easier in that all of them can be avoided.

There are bonus points for getting the treasures in the correct order but I did not really care. The graphics might be multi-coloured but they are multi-coloured blobs. There is little definition and they occasionally clash with the background, becoming difficult to see.

Bomb Jack II may have been a good idea in its day but that day has long since gone and this is one history lesson not worth paying to sit through.

Mark Ulyatt

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