Personal Computer News28th July 1983
Published in Personal Computer News #021
Sizzling Power Line
Sizzling Power Line
Remember learning kerb drill or even the Green Cross Code? When you stood at the edge of the pavement looking right... and left... and right again and, if all was clear, then cross keeping a constant watch.
With Jumping Jack, you can relive those dear dead days, only instead of charging across the street, you have to leap up a set of red lines which not only won't stand still, but are also infested with ghosts and dinosaurs and all those everyday hazards.
In six lives, you have to get to the top of a set of eight moving red lines by jumping up through the gaps that appear randomly, and running to avoid falling through gaps that appear in the line you are standing on. And when you've got to the top of one set of lines, you get another set, but this time complete with a menace which will knock you flying. The more screens you complete, the more menaces - but each time you fall back down to basecamp, you lose another life.
Imagine has come up with yet another game that has good graphics, an original plot, and the sort of game you just can't stop playing.
Jack, the hero, is a Hungry Horace-like pair of eyes on legs, looking left and right as you wait for a suitable gap to appear in the line above you. And as soon as the line he's standing on is threatened with an approaching gap, and you get him running left or right, his dinky little legs go nineteen to the half dozen.
If you try to jump through a suitable looking gap too soon or too late, Jack apparently gets electrocuted - are these red lines power lines? - and lies on his back waving his legs on the air. While he's incapacitated, and looking uncannily like a helicopter, holes creep up beneath him, so it's quite easy to end up at square one.
The lines can also hunt in two directions, so as fast as Jack tries to run one way, he's still in danger of being confronted with another hole headed straight for him. A dirty trick.
Complete a screenful, and you get a line of - well, poetry? It's a limerick that starts out "A daring explorer named Jack..." and presumably gets even worse.
Stirring stuff, simple but very addictive. You get enough lives to make a fair impression on the game even on startup. As there are only three keys to bother with, left, right and up, you won't get your digits in a twist.