With a leap and a bound, Bombjack, the renowned arcade hero of 1986, arrives on the ST - at last. Mighty Bombjack is the follow-up to that classic 8-bit hit which never succeeded in making it onto the ST. The original Bombjack was a straightforward but maddeningly addictive cutesy platform game, and guess what - this one's no different.
The plot, as always with a game of this type, can be completely ignored - some nonsense about an evil demon stealing the ever-so-nice King Pamera. Your task, as Mighty Bombjack (or MBJ to his friends) is to rescue him. And how? By collecting bombs, of course - what else?
Each of the sixteen levels you have to make your way through is composed of several scrolling screens that form a backdrop to the action. These screens are full of strategically placed ledges designed to thwart your every sproing as you rush about, collecting the bombs just lying there waiting to be - er, collected. In some of the screens, you have to collect all the bombs just to get out. Hassling you along the way are various nasties - mummies, birds and skulls among them - intent on settling your hash.
The whole game has a distinctly 8-bit feel to it. Little MBJ wibbles around the screen as if he's just woken up and everything moves so slowly it's impossible to become really excited with the game. In fact, the Spectrum version of Bombjack seemed faster than this one. The backdrops are pleasing enough but somewhat blocky and hardly stunning. Audio effects comprise the obligatory annoying sound chip tune, which does nothing to ehance the gameplay, and the odd bloop. It all gives the impression of an extremely average game.
Don't bother. The original arcade and micro games were unassuming, enjoyable diversions that were good for a quick fiddle. But when you have the speed and power of a 16-bit ST, why rehash the same game? It hasn't even got the excuse of being budget software. The manual promises surprises and four different endings, but you won't even want to see the first. We deserve much better than this.