Spectrum 2.0

Review of 'Jetpac'

Rating:3 User: Digital Prawn

Controversially, I think that Jetpac is somewhat overrated. I'd say that it is OK - but in my final analysis, it's nothing special.

Originally, I played it on the VIC-20 (which was the machine I owned back then) and I was at the time incredibly impressed that a blindingly fast-paced, action-packed game of video arcade standard was possible on that rather limited home system. Yes, back in the early '80s it was for a brief moment quite simply breathtaking.

As for the speccy version, it's certainly just as good, but truthfully not really significantly better, thus therein lies the problem. I've always considered the speccy as one level up from the VIC-20, i.e. more in competition with the C-64. So in that respect, the game really is fast-paced but with hindsight essentially mediocre. Undoubtedly, it's notable for a 16K effort.

Yes the implementation is technically superb, but I personally find the game just doesn't hold much replay value for me. Loosely speaking, it's not unlike a mixture between Joust (flying), Bomb Jack (jumping), Burger Time (building) and Asteroids (shooting). Four games which quite honestly I prefer over this one. The reason being - I find those games immediately addictive, but Jetpac to me seems more fiddly and awkward to play.

I doubt if anyone in the known universe will agree with me though, as this game is universally revered.

Any serious retro-gamer must at least play it though. It's a rite of passage!