Leaper (Bug-Byte) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

By Bug Byte
Commodore 16/Plus 4

Published in Commodore User #36


This platform lark is getting a bit out of hand. We've been reviewing C16/Plus 4 platform games every month.

As you may have guessed by now Leaper is yet another to add to the lengthy list. All of the basic ingredients are in there - well the platforms and the nasties.

On the back of the cassette inlay there is a dull looking screenshot taken from the game. Bug-Byte should be told that this will only make potential buyers throw the game on the floor screaming "Not another platform game!"

When Leaper is loading you are in for a shock, and I mean it. It is the first C16/Plus 4 game to have a high-res loading screen.

Programmer Martin 'Och aye, it's great' Gannon (strange name) has bunged in the theme tune of the South Bank Show. How thoughtful of him. Incidentally, when you get up to this stage in loading don't stop the datasette as the computer is still hungry for more loading. I didn't know about this and it took me several loads to notice.

Soon after the computer bursts into life playing the Can Can. Instead of a screen full of dancing girls, there is a Leaper doing a slow loop.

The programmer has thoughtfully included some blurb within the game, and there is no escaping it.

The story goes that you control Leaper up to the top of the screen to get his name in lights. To get there, you'll have to jump the gaps that move across the platforms. Every jump you take another gap is added to platforms until the playing area is swarming with them. To start off, there is only one nasty patrolling the platforms and for each letter you light up another nasty is added to a total of six. The nasties don't look too bad graphics-wise and are well animated. My favourite nasty is the Last V.W. Which is a Volkswagen car with a serious suspension problem, making it bounce along.

Also, the nasties have mastered a method of defying the laws of gravity by casually crossing over gaps without falling down. Every time you die or start a new game Leaper goes charging off to the right of the screen only to come back from the right (What a weirdo!). As he comes on, there is a circus type welcoming tune, suddenly Leaper stops, puts his hands on his hips and starts to dance. The noise in the background changes to a quite good version of 'Popcorn'.

At first the game seems very hard, but after a few goes I got one of the letters lighted up. After a few hours I learnt how to master Leaper and lighted up every letter. To my disgust, nothing happened. I tried going up and only turned one of the letters off. After killing off my remaining Leapers, I read the instructions again. Nothing wrong. I did everything correctly. I turned off the computer to write the review.

Despite the game not working properly, I would recommend it to most owners, because it's got good graphics and the tunes are the best around for the C16/Plus 4.

Fikret Cifici

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