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Jasper

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Released: 1984

Publisher: Micromega

Developer: Derek Brewster

Submitted by: Ian Marks

Derek Brewster was ace! He wrote an adventure column for Crash magazine… without Derek I’d still be stuck in the Goblin’s dungeon to this day. He also wrote some great games, Codename Mat and Kentilla spring to mind. They were great.

Jasper though goes a little bit of the way to tarnishing the reputation of Mr. Brewster. It’s an ok game, but it’s by no means great.

It’s all about a rat/mouse called Jasper and his quest to negotiate twenty odd screens to solve some problem or another. He can carry items and use them to solve problems, so in that respect it’s more like Magic Knight’s adventures than Miner Willys.

Good points are that you can use umbrellas to fall down big drops (a la lemmings), and swinging across rivers on ropes is also amusing. The graphics are quite nice, but not as good as I think they were hyped to be at the time.

Jasper’s jump is a bit odd in my opinion, he jumps very high in a stilted way, which makes it very difficult to predict where he will end up – usually in a pond, and then Jasper drowns… because everyone knows mice can’t swim right… oh no sorry they can.

If I’m being picky… (which I am) there is also a problem with the inhabitants of Jasper’s garden. Whilst there are dogs, cats, birds, bees etc. there are also polar bears which always struck me as a bit weird.

In all there are some good ideas in Jasper. It’s a bit more Kokotoni Wilf than Jet Set Willy, but if you enjoy platform type games and haven’t played it then it’s probably worth a load up. It is however frustratingly hard… we seemed to put up with this more in the eighties, but my 2010 mind can’t be doing with it anymore, and once I’d died for the 100th time under emulation, I decided to leave the game to its own devices.

Crash magazine gave this game a score in the nineties, and made it a Crash smash. I wouldn’t go that far myself. It’s probably worth about 70% at a push, more likely 60%. Still it is quite pretty to look at, and some of the enemy graphics (particularly the cat) are very well animated.

 

You might like it more than I do… but even though I’m not overly keen its author Derek is still a retro gaming god in my opinion.