Hello, and a wet welcome to Tuesday 1st May 2012! Yes, it’s peeing it down outside, so I can write with the theraputic sound of rain beating on my window.
Today I am going to review a classic game by Mr. Matt Smith, no not Doctor Who…the other one…the one that created…
Jet Set Willy on the Amstrad CPC series.
The plot goes as follows:-
A tired Miner Willy has to tidy up all the items left around his house after a huge party. With this done his housekeeper Maria will allow him access to his bedroom. Willy’s mansion was bought with the wealth obtained from his adventures in Manic Miner but much of it remains unexplored and it appears to be full of strange creatures, possibly a result of the previous (missing) owner’s experiments. Willy must explore the enormous mansion and its grounds (including a beach and a yacht) to fully tidy up the house so he can get some much-needed sleep.
And that’s it, collect the items, and make your way to the bedroom where Maria will allow you passage to your much needed slumber.
The Amstrad version of the game is pretty much a carbon copy of the Spectrum version, with a notable absence of the main music in the game, replaced by some horrific sounding composition, play with the sound off for maximum enjoyment of the game. The game is made up of a number of single screens which the player can move in and out of at will, the items you need are noted as glowing little trinkets scattered throughout the mansion. Platform jumping is a major part of this game, with skillful timing needed in a lot of the areas. This is an enjoyable romp of a game with a gentle learning curve, with a couple of frustrating bugs, one of note is to drop into a screen from above to fall to your death….upon re-spawning, you are again dropped from the top of the screen….to your death….again….and again….and again…until all your lives are used up. Lives are represented by a little character replica line all walking in time to the music ( but seriously, turn it off ). A variety of monsters patrol the rooms making Willy’s progress a taxing affair, some quick thinking and timing is required to leap over or run under these to progress to the next screen. All in all this game is fun, and will keep you coming back for more, just make sure you pick up the version that had the bugs that made it un-completable.
Graphics:- Same as the spectrum for the most part, with slightly more colours used on screen at once to add to the palette, just slightly prettier in my opinion.
Sound:- What a let down, gone is the “If I were a Rich Man” theme tune in game replaced with….noise….the intro music of Moonlight Sonata stays in check though, a good move in my opinion. The in game sounds are your standard sounds ported from the Spectrum version of the game. Bit of a let down in all fairness.
Overall:- Well it’s Jet Set Willy isn’t it? A classic beyond classics, a history making game and one that’s loved by so many in the Retro community, and I can see why and add my own Memories onto the pile. Worthy of a purchase if you can find it, play it on the Spectrum for the ultimate experience though :)