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Jet Boot Jack

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Released: 1983

Genre: Platformer

Format reviewed: Atari 8-bit

Publisher: English Software

Developer: Jon Williams

Submitted by: Shaun Scott

In Jet Boot Jack you play a music collector who must collect musical notes in a record processing plant. Obviously (!) he uses hovering jet powered boots to achieve his aim and must also collect fuel for these boots along the way. There are 10 levels in all which comprise of a series of platforms, elevators and conveyor belts. Once all the notes are collected on each screen you proceed to the next one.

I found this game easy to play and very addictive. Good title screen music and sound effects with large, clear and colourful graphics make this another essential game on the machine. Although it’s a platformer there aren’t any jumping sections (which seems odd) however you have to be very careful with your timing as if you hit a rock, bug or move onto a lift while it’s moving you’ll lose a life. If you line up on a platform above the bugs that litter the screen you can bounce on top of them to send them to their deaths. This is not essential but will score you extra points.

When returning to 8-bit games after a long absence you can often find the difficulty very high. This game gives you a fighting chance to make it to the end and there are multiple difficulty settings to suit your ability.
Overall (and considering this was 1983) it’s a really impressive effort.