Jetpac

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Rare are my favourite video game developers and before they were Rare they were Ultimate Play the Game. Back when they were Ultimate, their first game was Jetpac and so this is technically the first game made by my favourite developer. You can understand why it’s something I’d be very interested to try. But, it being their first, might it prove to be quite lacking?
   You play as an astronaut called Jetman as he lands on various different planets (which are all identical looking). You can collect treasures on each planet, but need to look out for hostile aliens. Before you can leave each planet you either need to fill your ship with fuel or construct a new ship (and there are several different spaceships you go through as your progress). You do this by grabbing the pieces/fuel cells and then carrying them over to the ship.
   The level design is very basic; you have the same, single screen, layout of a few different platforms and items fall at random from the sky, while aliens fly across the screen in erratic patterns. Jetman is quite mobile, however, and his titular jetpac comes in pretty handy (as does his powerful laser gun). Walking or flying across one side of the screen will just bring you to the opposite side. As I said: very basic. There’s not even any music; just the blasting of your gun and the blips of exploding enemies.
   Does this mean that the game is bad? Not at all! While it may be basic, it is still very fun once you get the hang of it. I will admit that it takes a little while to get into; if an alien touches you in any way, you explode and with a very underwhelming blip, your life is over. But once you master dodging the enemies, you should find it very enjoyable. I personally found it quite addictive and felt that the lack of soundtrack quite suited the sci-fi setting. So if you’re a fan of retro games, this is definitely something to try.
   Rating: 6.6/10

(Don’t miss today’s Finger Puppet Show)


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