Acorn User

Jack Attac

Author: Geoff Bains
Publisher: Bug Byte
Machine: BBC/Electron

Published in Acorn User #050

Happy Ever After

The Jack of the title is he of beanstalk fame. As Jack, you have to run around the beanstalk and the giant's castle to rescue your sweetheart, Jill (a sad case of mixed-up nursery rhymes, this). Now, I tell you all this because you'd never guess it from the screen picture.

Plot aside (and who can seriously say they buy a computer game for the plot?) Jack Attack is fun enough. It's fairly standard stuff. There is a seemingly endless supply of screens, all interconnected and filled with an assortment of ladders and platforms and the odd nasty. Jack must trot around these searching for Kill. Of course, some parts of the maze of bean foliage are blocked from Jack's path by locked doors and so Jack must find the keys for these first.

Once the final key is found, the giant wakes up and Jack must rescue Jill, escape from the castle and climb down the beanstalk all in two minutes, before he can get down to the serious matter of living happily ever after.

So, let's face it, there's nothing very new here. However, it works. There is a strange addictive quality about games like this. The movement of Jack and the few moving baddies which infest the beanstalk is very slick and the controls nice and responsive. It's true that the whole game did crash once, insisting on drawing every screen on top of another (not a pretty sight) but that all adds to the excitement.

Jack Attack's standard of presentation is laughable. There are mistakes on the cassette sleeve and in the game's opening pages and Bug-Byte can't seem to decide if it's Attac or Attack. I can't give full marks for a game with these kind of errors and such a lack of originality, but it's cheap and fun to play.

Geoff Bains

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