Crash12th December 2017
Published in Crash Annual 2018
Farmer Jack In Harvest Havoc
What started as a hobby, with a lone demijohn of elderberry wine bubbling away in the under-stairs cupboard, has become big business for Farmer Jack in just a few short years. As a consequence the number of allotments he owns to grow the fruit he needs is getting bigger every year. But business isn't as easy this year - another supplier is flooding the market with nasty cheap wine. Last night he heard a clanging of metal, smelt the foul smell of big business and saw steel monsters roaming the allotments, trampling the paths and destroying his crops.
It's time to clear away all the fruit or destroy all the monsters on the screen to advance to the next. Boulders can be pushed or undermined to make them fall on any unsuspecting monster... or Jack himself if he doesn't nip out of the way. He also has three bombs at his disposal which explode once the fuse has burnt out - hopefully giving Jack enough time to leave the blast area before detonation.
This is essentially a version of the 1982 Mr. Do arcade game, but with different graphics. Backdrops to each level are nicely defined, colourful but not garish. Jack's tractor and the baddies are well drawn and move smoothly without flicker.
Levels start off relatively easy and get gradually more complex with progress. The music is well written and suits the type of game. Farmer Jack is great fun to play and has that 'just one more go' quality that makes you try to beat your last score and get that little bit further. If anyone ever does a conversion of Mr. Do on the Spectrum then it will have to beat this, because Farmer Jack has set the benchmark for this genre. Superb.
Excellent presentation and some jolly 128K tunes make this game a lot of fun to play. Graphics are colourful and detailed and player movement is smooth. Of particular note is how narrow walls are left between the tunnels you dig, unlike so many Spectrum games of this type. The only drawback is if you overrun your positioning by even a pixel, the game automatically forces you to move over a whole tile before you can change direction; that mistake gets you killed all too often.
Control keys: K, M, Z, X, L. All keys can be redefined.
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair or Protek/Cursor
Keyboard play: Responds well
Use of colour: Very nice
Graphics: Colourful, well defined, nicely animated
Sound: Jolly 128 title and in-game tunes. Lovely AY spot effects. 48 spot effects only.
Skill Levels: One
Screens: Over 20
General rating: An excellent Mr. Do variant. Well worth a dabble.