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Bomb Jack
ZX Spectrum
Andy Williams & Paul Holmes
I noticed the Bomb Jack cabinet after I bought the Spectrum version in 1986. Although the original was already out for two years (1984) I never played it before. It stood next to the Ghosts'n Goblins cabinet and this gigantic Ferrari which I preferred.

So after reading the SU review I decided to buy the Spectrum version and I was hooked from the first minute. It had colourful static backdrops, crisp sprites which all moved fast (no slowdown) and this typical arcade gameplay.

There are some 5 different backdrops and after these it starts again with a change in screen layout. The purpose of the game is to clean all the lightning bombs, and you'd better do this in the right order to have a good score. At the start of each screen it's important to decide which bomb to take first because there is a fixed pattern. If you take the wrong one first then you may have to take the next one right in the baddies nest.

You can wait on a platform to plan your next move or watch where the baddies are going, but after a while they'll start chasing you. There is one bird who chases you from the start.

The other baddies vary from little guys, flying things to ufo's. After a while the screen becomes full of them but then there comes that Pac Man Power pill. When taken, the baddies turn into "smileys" for a while and you can swallow them to get some extra score.

Other pills are the Bonus and the Extra Life pill (very handy). If you play a while you know when to expect such a Power pill. I didn't notice this for the Bonus and Extra Life pills.

The controls are very responsive (I'm playing this with a PSX pad).

The only downside is the sound but this I only noticed when I played the original arcade version. The Speccy had no title tune or in-game tune but the spot effects are okay.

Did you know: That there were in total 4 Bomb Jack games (Bomb Jack 1 & 2, Mighty Bomb Jack and Bomb Jack Junior). The latter two never came out for the Spectrum.

Did you know: To have a bonus of 50,000 point you'd have to collect all 23 lightning bombs & at least 20 to have a bonus.

Did you know: The arcade version had also a Special Power pill, given an extra credit. Never saw it in the Spectrum version (logical I think).

Crash: "A great arcade conversion, don't miss it!"
RATING : 92% (CRASH #27, April 1986)

Sinclair User:
RATING : 9/10

Wow ... I wonder how he gets his jumpers on ... ?

I sphinx you should collect some bombs ... ha .. aha .. *ahem*

Quick!! Get the 'B' token!! Quiiiiick!!!
I'll calm down now ...

Must ... get ... 'P' ... token ... nyurghh!

Hoorah! Now I can eat the bad guys. Even though
they're like, twice my size ...

Graphics: 96%

Sound: 75%

Gameplay: 97%

Overall: 90%
Fast & detailed sprites, minimum colour clash. Colourful static backdrops. No title tune. Only in-game spot effects which do the job. Play it to death! Still much fun nowadays. The "one more try" at its best. And the best version for all 8-bits.

R E C O M M E N D E D   A L T E R N A T I V E S

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