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Page 1: Jackal - Jet Bike Simulator
Page 2: Jet Boot Jack - Jocky Wilson's Darts Challenge
Page 3: Jocky Wilson's Darts Compendium - Jumpman
Page 4: Jungle Jane - Justin
Screenshot of Jackal
Jackal (Advert)
(Konami, 1987)

A surprise enemy attack has taken your army by surprise, and many of your comrades are now being held prisoner. Four men – Bob, Gray, Quint and Deckar – have been sent behind enemy lines to rescue as many of them as possible, in a plan codenamed Jackal. You have to roam around the enemy camp in a jeep and use grenades and missiles to destroy enemy tanks and guns, as well as blow up the huts where your comrades are held in order to rescue them (but how do they withstand the blast?!). You can also run over enemy soldiers, which is fun! However, the graphics are crudely drawn and the playing area is very small, which makes it very difficult to sneak up on the enemy and avoid their bullets. As a result, it's an annoyingly frustrating game to play, and after a few attempts, you won't want to try again.

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Screenshot of Jack and the Beanstalk
Jack and the Beanstalk
(Thor, 1985)
Reviewed by Pug

We all know the fairy tale – Simple Jack sells his cow for some magic beans... The game takes place the following morning facing a gigantic beanstalk. Your task is to climb upwards avoiding the birds and – oh, did you collect that gun on the floor? The second screen involves climbing walls to collect the sack of gold. The third screen sets you near the giant's fireplace – can you get the golden goose? The final screen shows the giant, who you must carefully climb upon to reach the table and a large sack of gold. Difficult at first, but very easy once you know where to position yourself. The graphics and sound are basic, although the beanstalk looks nice. However, there seems to be a bug in the game that prevents you seeing the last screen.

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Screenshot of Jackle and Wide
Jackle and Wide
(Bulldog, 1987)

Dr. Jackle has swallowed a potion and transformed into the evil Mr. Wide, but he forgot to prepare an antidote, so now he must search for his enemy, Dr. Piqued, and retrieve the antidote from him. To do this, you must explore Hyde Park and the sewers beneath it, one at a time. Each sewer consists of a maze of rooms, and once you've found a way out, you return to Hyde Park and must find the entrance to the next sewer to explore. There are various objects scattered around the park, although not all of them are useful. The graphics are very Spectrum-like, particularly in the sewers where everything is drawn in monochrome, and the sound effects are very basic. The sewers all look very similar, and exploring one sewer after another soon becomes very repetitive.

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Screenshot of Jackson City
Jackson City
(GLL, 1990)
Reviewed by Pug

Jackson City is a top-down shoot-'em-up. Swarms of aliens and 'fruit' come towards you as you travel along shooting the hell out of them. Your spaceship moves with a unique drift, adding a more realistic sense of flight. Power-ups are there to be found which improve your speed and firepower. At the end of each zone is a guardian that must be defeated to move onwards. Some detailed MODE 1 graphics and smooth scrolling make this an acceptable shoot-'em-up, although the sound effects are sparse.

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Screenshot of Jack the Nipper
Jack the Nipper
(Gremlin, 1986)
Reviewed by John Beckett

You play a toddler named Jack, and the aim is to cause as much havoc as possible! Starting out in your bedroom, you must roam the town, creating chaos whenever you can. And the more trouble you cause, the higher your naughtyometer goes, the aim being to get it as full as possible. But beware, because all the grown-ups are there to give you a good spanking. A truly great and original game; the graphics are wonderful and detailed, the music and sound effects are good and catchy, and the challenge is just right – Jack has many lives as well as a sizeable energy bar, so games last a good while. A true classic, and better than its sequel.

See also: Jack the Nipper II.

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Screenshot of Jack the Nipper II
Jack the Nipper II
(Gremlin, 1987)
Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

Jack is back... and heís angry! Youíve been parachuted into the jungle, wearing nothing but your nappy, and you must fight wild animals (that wear sunglasses!), throwing coconuts at them. This sequel is really funny. First, it is huge and the graphics are really different from one area to the next – but Spectrum port syndrome strikes again! Anyway, there are many places to explore and itís easy to get lost in this game. Itís rather difficult, too, and you must move very carefully (even though, like cats, youíve got nine lives). Eventually, the action is pleasant and... well, this is a very good platform game!

See also: Jack the Nipper.

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Screenshot of Jack the Ripper
Jack the Ripper
(CRL, 1987)

The tale of Jack the Ripper has remained a part of folklore for more than a century – an unknown murderer who roamed the streets of London's East End and killed five women. This text adventure sees you stumbling across the murder scene of the Ripper's first victim, Mary Ann Nichols, on the night of the 31st of August 1888, and subsequently becoming the prime suspect after a run-in with the police. This was apparently the first computer game in the UK ever to receive an 18 certificate (although this was arguably a calculated move by CRL to gain publicity for it), and the prose is definitely gory and stomach-churning, with descriptions of mutilated heads and organs ripped out of dead bodies. The parser is quite good and the prose creates a suitably frightening atmosphere, but avoid it if you're squeamish.

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Screenshot of Jail Break
Jail Break
(Konami, 1986)
Reviewed by John Beckett

There's been a mass jail-break! Thousands of convicted criminals are armed and loose on the streets of New York, and the warden has been taken hostage. You must be one heck of a cop, because you've been sent in alone to rescue him! As this super-cop, you shoot your way from left to right through six grossly difficult levels, avoiding enemy bullets, vans and pedestrians. The graphics are kind of blocky and not very detailed, but they're also bold and colourful, and there's a very cool little tune on the title screen, accompanied by some nice digitised speech. Alas, the in-game sound effects are pitiful (there are only about three effects) and also, the game's difficulty is sky-high, but it doesn't really matter; it's actually quite addictive and reasonably good fun.

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Screenshot of Jammin'
Jammin'
(Amsoft/Taskset, 1985)

Rankin' Rodney has to gather his four instruments which are scattered about the screen. Each instrument is in a separate corner, but the screen is divided into several areas of different colours, and Rodney can only move from one area to the other by using the conveyor belts. There are also musical notes which float about, and running into them causes Rodney to lose whatever instrument he's carrying. It's hard to avoid them, and that's what lets this game down. Mind you, it's worth playing just to listen to the funky music!

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Screenshot of Jet Bike Simulator
Jet Bike Simulator
(Codemasters, 1988)

Ride your jet bike around several courses and try to beat the other three riders to cross the line first. Three sets of courses (lakes, docklands and coastlines) are on offer, and you can select standard and expert levels. Standard level requires you to complete the course within a certain time; it doesn't matter if you come last. However, if you fail to beat any of the other three players on expert level, you're out. The graphics are beautiful and there's some nice music and digitised speech. I think the expert mode is far too hard, though.

See also: Championship Jet Ski Simulator.

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