Sunday, June 11, 2017

Jetpac


I'm sure everyone already knows that Jetpac was originally released in 1983 for the ZX Spectrum by uber gaming legends, Ultimate Play The Game. Its one of the most iconic 8Bit games from that era and our conversion was developed by Pete J. Whitby in 1992 for Budgie UK. Heck, he also made all the graphics and sound effects too.

Jet Man is one lucky fella who works for Acme Interstellar Transport Company as a space pilot. They're sending him to fifty remote planets to assemble (and playtest) their latest technological creations. Sadly, his luck soon ran out as he's discovered each planet is being bombarded by a variety of hostiles ranging from fiery comets to fluffy aliens.

  
There are so many different baddies to blast and not all are like they first appear.

Playability is impressive with tight controls which feel a tad quicker than on the Speccy but Jet Man's movements are exactly as you would expect. Oddly, he cannot wrap around the screen which is disappointing but he compensates this lost ability with shield power-ups that work surprisingly well. The range of nasties is wide and with differing attack patterns that help to keep everything varied and interesting. Many are new and some will require several shots whereas others are invulnerable. Also, watch out for deadly platforms that can zap Jet Man into an early grave. There is even an ending, something which the original didn't have... if only I had better gaming skills to see this!

Graphics are pretty much the same as in the Speccy classic but now include extra colours. Sprites are amateurishly drawn but move smoothly. However, I'm not too keen on the background picture, which I feel isn't necessary. The sound effects are pretty lame and it's shocking to hear the ST out-performed by the Spectrum's inferior bleeper.

  
Jet Man is one lucky dude who gets to play with all the cool new rockets!

Jetpac is Jetpac and it will always be superb. Okay, this remake was never going to beat the original but I feel Pete has successfully captured the authentic feel and even implement some new ideas. What's not to love about frantically zapping a relentless alien hoard when you're trying to collect fuel pods? An excellent conversion.

LINKS

 - Jetpac is available on both floppy disk and can even be installed on to your hard drive.
 - Play the original ZX Spectrum game on your Atari ST using an emulator:
             > Artemis is a great b/w emulator which only works on 8MHz Atari ST/e computers.
             > Speccy is another emulator w/ support for colours and faster Atari computers too.

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