Out On A Limb (Anirog) Review | Zzap - Everygamegoing

Zzap


Out On A Limb
By Anirog
Commodore 64

 
Published in Zzap #5

Out On A Limb

This little game is based around the adventures of our Jack. You remember Jack; he was the chap who sold a cow in exchange for a handful of useless beans. As luck would have it, the little twerp (or so his Mother called him) threw them out of the window whereupon one of the beans sprouted into a very large and rather silly beanstalk. Jack, being more than a mere twerp, decided to climb the beanstalk and get into a lot of trouble. Up above the clouds he discovered a Giant's castle. Now read on... .

So your first task is to climb the beanstalk by jumping from one branch to another. The stalk extends for two screens, after which you must get past the cloud by jumping from one cloud to another. When you manage to reach the top, you are confronted by a series of rooms that all bear a resemblance to the screen concept of Jet Set Willy.

Each room has a series of levels. Jumping from one level to another is fine but for the moving nasties, found on each of the levels. You must avoid them if you want to get to the next level without losing a life. All told, Jack must explore twenty-three 'rooms', moving from one to the other by negotiating a path along the various platforms to reach the entrance to the next room.

Somewhere within the Castle are to be found the three objects that, as myth will have it, compensated Jack so well for the loss of the cow; these are a bar of gold, a talking golden harp and of course a golden egg (only a minor departure from that story). The three objects are brightly coloured so while they may not be easy to locate initially, you won't miss them once you do.

Jack begins the game with four lives, and when you lose one the game resumes on the same screen but not in the same position. If you have a bad memory or are unable to count to three, fear not, on the right hand of the screen there is an objects' counter to remind you of the objects collected to date. Instead of awarding points, the game measures your performance according to the length of time you take to complete the collection and make good your escape. For this purpose a clock is positioned at the top right of the screen. Taking more than forty minutes is not pat-on-the-back stuff, but anything less than half an hour is pretty good going.

JR

The first screen on this game looks suspiciously like the one in Thor's Jack and the Beanstalk, although it's a lot easier. I was quite relieved to see that the similarity disappears after this screen. The trouble with this game is that it's just another boring old platform game with no real original touches; collecting certain objects and using them was about the only thing that kept me going, otherwise I would've switched off there and then. The sound is pretty awful but there is speech, a 'FEE FI FO FUM' bit at the beginning of each game and a 'GOT YOU' when you die which is quite a good, if infuriating, laugh. Perhaps this game would do better with a £1.99 price tag, but as it stands it's rather overpriced for just another left/right/leap-em game.

PS

This is a pretty unremarkable game. The graphics are far from stunning and the sound is at its best when it's turned off. I am a little disappointed by the task set in the game, I would have thought that the fairy tale lent itself quite well to incorporating something more of an adventure element, rather than a simple 'dodge em platform game'. The speech produced by the program is acceptable, but not representative of the Commodore at its best. With only twenty-three locations to explore you won't be overawed by the size of this game. Despite some of its annoying features, Out on a Limb is quite playable but I soon became bored. Good young 'uns stuff perhaps?

GP

Platform games that don't have anything new to offer are starting to become a mite tiresome and Out on a Limb is such a game. There are quite a few resemblances throughout to certain other popular platform games (some of the rooms even have the character concerned walking about in them). The graphics are nothing to write home about and sound follows much the same suit. Even the speech (which wasn't exactly amazing) didn't help, rather it hindered and annoyed. Out on a Limb is a difficult one to progress through, and most of the time infuriates because of this (my finger hovered tentatively over the on/off switch many a time on losing a life). Even at the relatively cheap price of six quid, it doesn't tempt me.

Verdict

Presentation 54%
Run-of-the-mill stuff.

Graphics 47%
Jack's not bad but the rest ain't too hot.

Sound 59%
Pretty grotty music and effects and even the speech isn't too good.

Hookability 35%
Frustrating and not overly compelling.

Lastability 42%
Difficult to crack and will take time to do so if you're willing to persevere.

Value For Money 38%
Cheap, but not quite cheap enough.

Overall 36%
Not exactly one of the best versions of this type of game.