Humpty Dumpty and Jack And Jill Review | Personal Computer News - Everygamegoing

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Humpty Dumpty and Jack And Jill
By Thorn EMI
Atari 400

Published in Personal Computer News #009

Joystick Jigsaw

Joystick Jigsaw

Remember those old plastic puzzles with 15 lettered or numbered squares you could slide around a frame to make words or patterns? That's the inspiration for this jigsaw program from Thorn EMI.


You get a picture of Humpty Dumpty - or Jack and Jill, on the other side of the tape - and you decide how many pieces it is to be sliced up into; anything from 9 to 36. You also decide how thoroughly the pieces should be shuffled.

Then, before your very eyes, the computer removes one piece, and slides the other pieces around the screen to shuffle them, playing the appropriate nursery rhyme as it goes. You then use the joystick to put a large square cursor onto any square of your choice that is adjacent to the empty space, and the computer slides that square into the space.

And so you carry on, until you either manage to reconstruct the original picture, or flee gibbering into the middle distance.

In Play

After each program is loaded, you get a glance - but only the very briefest glance - at the finished picture, before an enormous Thorn EMI title screen descends and covers half of it up. You aren't warned to take a good look at the picture.

Then you pick your skill level and the puzzle size using the SELECT or OPTION keys, not the joystick, and it's very easy to flick past the level you want.

There's a vast difference between the difficulty of level four and that of level five - I found five impossible, while four was a 30-second job.

Level three is strictly for the pre-scholars, because it only moves about two or three squares. As for Level 6, no matter how towering your intellect, I defy you to crack a size 6, level 6 puzzle in less than an afternoon.

Still, the graphics are a giggle, though there is something very odd about this Dumpty.

Jack and Jill shows you a rather chimpanzee-like Jack, head clutched in hands, and a dismal-looking Jill sprawled halfway down the Hill.

You get a reward - of sorts - if you finish the game. In 'Humpty' all you get is another wink from the hero, but in Jack and Jill, you get a quick look at Jack tucked up in bed.


There's something in this game for everybody, youngest included, but I suspect the appeal for any one person will be limited.

All in all, a good idea, well executed, but please, Thorn EMI, give us a copy of the picture to look at as we play.

Ralph BancroftShirley Fawcett