Screenshot of John Elway’s Quarterback

John Elway’s Quarterback

(Virgin Games, 1990)

Reviewed by Robert Small

It’s a case of what might have been with this American football game. The graphics are colourful if a bit blocky. On the other hand the game scrolls very slowly. Despite being endorsed by John Elway the game does not feature the full names of actual NFL teams. Experimenting with different plays is fun, though, and despite the slow speed it plays reasonably well. It isn’t the most accurate of American football interpretations either, but it does have a two player mode. An average sports game.

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Screenshot of Jonny Quest

Jonny Quest

(Hi-Tec Software, 1991)

Reviewed by John Beckett

Another excellent game by Hi-Tec Software based on a popular Hanna-Barbera cartoon character, Jonny Quest has you in the role of the schoolboy supersleuth as you roam the fortress of the evil Dr Zin, rescuing your kidnapped comrades – your mystic Indian friend Hadji, your dog Bandit, your bodyguard, and finally, your inventor father. The game itself – a nice blend of platform action and Dizzy-style puzzles – is fairly big, but also quite linear, so you never get lost, and little surprises are thrown in along the way, like the enjoyable scuba-diving section, so you never get bored. The graphics are good and well animated, while the sound effects are sparse but serviceable. Also, the difficulty level is perfect; it’s a challenging game, but not impossible. Overall, one of my favourite games!

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Screenshot of El Juego de la Oca

El Juego de la Oca

(Zafiro, 1989)

The name means ‘the game of the goose’ in English, and it’s much like snakes and ladders. Get up to three friends to play (you can’t play it on your own, unless you want to take control of all the players) and roll the dice to progress along the board. Landing on the geese lets you jump some of the squares, although there are some squares that cause you to miss some turns – and don’t land on the skull! Younger players will enjoy the bright colours and pictures, but the scrolling is extremely slow and anyone else will find the game very tedious.

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Screenshot of Juggernaut

Juggernaut

(CRL, 1985)

Plenty of simulators exist for racing cars, but have you ever fancied having a go at driving an articulated lorry? You’ve started work with a haulage company and have to transport goods around town. Your lorry can only store so much, so several trips will be needed, and you’ll have to watch your fuel gauge as well, and make sure you don’t speed in built-up areas! There is a practice mode to help you get used to driving the lorry, but I never got used to parking the lorry in a loading bay, which you must learn how to do. It’s fun driving around town like a maniac at first, but if you can’t park, you’ll get nowhere. The graphics and sound effects aren’t convincing, either.

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Screenshot of Jump

Jump

(Zigurat, 1991)

A cross between Breakout and Space Invaders is perhaps the best way to describe this Spanish arcade game. You control an alien who can walk along the top of a long wall consisting of bricks. Instead of shooting at the monsters, you must kill them by jumping on the wall, which results in a brick being dislodged. Hopefully the brick will hit a monster and kill it. However, if you dislodge too many bricks, there will be gaps in the wall that you may be unable to jump across! The graphics are brilliant and really detailed, although there are few sound effects. It’s also a rather difficult game, but persevere with it and you may well end up liking it.

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Screenshot of Jump Jet

Jump Jet

(Anirog, 1985)

Reviewed by Robert Small

There can’t be many people who grew up in the 1980s and were not aware of the Harrier Jump Jet with its vertical take-off and landing capability. Unlike the more famous Harrier Attack, this is a simulation. It’s a very early one as well, so it doesn’t come with a lot of modes or variety of missions. There are a wealth of keyboard controls you will need to learn, but that is par for the course. Graphically it’s a bit dull in the colour department but fairly well drawn with a clear instrument display. I like the way take-off is handled with multiple external views before switching to a first-person view. Unusually for a flight simulation, there is a really nice piece of music on the options screen, and the engine noise is unobtrusive. It’s not for everyone due to the time-intensive nature of the genre, but if you like flight simulations then give it a try.

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Screenshot of Jumping Jack

Jumping Jack

(40Crisis, 2016)

Jack wants to recite a poem to you, but he will only reveal it if you can help him climb his way to the top of twenty screens. This is a very simple platform game that was originally released for the ZX Spectrum and has been emulated on the CPC. The graphics are minimal, matching the simple nature of the gameplay. Each screen contains eight platforms with moving gaps, and Jack must jump through the gaps and try to avoid the enemies. Hitting a platform while jumping causes Jack to temporarily lose consciousness, which could result in him falling through a gap and down to a lower platform. As you progress, more gaps appear, and this makes the game increasingly difficult and frustrating. You’ll often find yourself nearing the top of a screen, only to fall all the way back towards the bottom again.

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Screenshot of Jumpman

Jumpman

(Blaby Computer Games, 1985)

Reviewed by John Beckett

Jumpman was the original name for Mario, and the cover for this game featured a Mario lookalike. So you’d think it would be a Mario clone, right? Wrong, it’s a Q*Bert clone... You play as Q*Bert lookalike Hubert C. Jumpman, and have to hop around the blocks, turning them all another colour, while avoiding the blobs pursuing you, and trying not to fall off. There are six levels, which repeat again and again, each time adding another evil blob to the mix. The graphics are very colourful but basic, and the game slows somewhat as more blobs appear on the scene, but the game is mercilessly addictive and actually very good fun! It’s a pity that you only get three lives, though.

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Screenshot of Jungle Jane

Jungle Jane

(Minipuce/Bug-Byte, 1986)

While Tarzan is away, the native tribesmen of the jungle have taken advantage and captured Jane. Unless she can escape, she will end up in the cooking pot for their next meal! On each level, Jane can climb up and down a vine on the right of the screen, and she must fire bananas at the tribesmen as they move about the screen. If she lets too many of them get away, or she is hit by too many of the coconuts that the tribesmen throw at her, she’ll literally end up in a stew – although there may be one last desperate opportunity to escape... This French game features very bright and cheerful graphics, and after playing the first screen, the game looks quite promising. However, once you play the second screen several times, you’ll find that it’s far too difficult to be able to progress further, even on the easy difficulty level.

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Screenshot of Jungle Warfare

Jungle Warfare

(Mastertronic, 1989)

Reviewed by Javier Sáez

I don’t know how many Operation Wolf clones were released for the CPC, but as far as I know, almost none of them were even decent games. Jungle Warfare isn’t an exception to the rule. The graphics and the sound are just average. The scrolling is smooth, though, but that’s due to the fact that the playing area occupies less than half of the screen. The gameplay is quite dull; you won’t see more than two or three enemies on the screen at the same time. On top of everything, you can be shot only three times before you die, which makes the game rather difficult.

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