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CJ's Elephant Antics

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Released: 1991

Genre: Platformer

Format reviewed: Commodore 64

Publisher: Codemasters

Developer: Big Red Software

Submitted by: James Evans

Cj's Elephant Antics is a straight up platform action game pitting the main character on his travels around the world after escaping captivity on a plane. Using an umbrella to float to safety he now shoots peanuts and drops bombs at foes in order to get home.

The game begins in France and moves through various places and locales such as Switzerland, Egypt etc. Each level has its own countries theme – France for example has frogs and poodles where Switzerland has snowmen and penguins. Even the bosses are unique to their land, France being a hunchback. Between each level is a bonus stage where Cj rides a bicicle, hitting jumps to collect balloons.

On occasion there are pixel perfect jumps to master and numerous spike hazards to avoid. One On the Egypt level for example is a pit of death – you can't get out so making sure you know the routes is essential! It is times like these when you learn to use the umbrella to glide. Some of the levels do have multiple routes which made the game more playable and added replay value.

Speaking of replay – the entire game could be done as co op! Yep you heard correctly. This was a rare thing back in the day to have a platform co op, let alone one that actually worked!

Really good fun to play – the levels sometimes feel samey but the variety of the characters and settings more than make up for it. Just don't ask me to explain why an elephant is snaffling balloons whilst riding a bike… who happens to be an explosives expert.