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Ocean Software Ltd
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Chris Bourne

Chinese Juggler is one of those games that has been translated from the original Commodore version, and done very well. As a game its success lies in the manic panic it inspires as you try to keep all the plates spinning at once - or is this getting ahead too fast? The object of the juggler is to set eight plates spinning on top of eight poles and keep them spinning. This isn't so very easy as each plate has to be set in motion one at a time, so by the time you have got five or s going, you are too busy keeping up the spin pace of the first ones to have time to get the remaining plates up and going.

The screen shows the Juggler's stage and the eight poles waiting. At the front of the stage are four small chinese pagodas on which the coloured plates appear. The juggler can be directed around the playing area to collect a plate and then back to a pole to set the plate spinning. Returning to the same pole and using the activate button will cause the slowing plate to speed up again. Of course, if you don't get to a slowing plate in time, it will eventually fall off.

On the first screen all you have to do is get all eight poles filled with plates of any colour. But on subsequent screens there are further complications, such as setting a plate of specific colour spinning, the colour determined by the border colour. If no plate of the required colour is available, then you must throw the plate in the air and catch it again. This will alter the plate's colour - though it might not be the right one.


'At first glimpse I expected this game to be a ten minute gimmick. To say the least, I was wrong. Chinese Juggler is fun and addictive, also requiring strategy to keep the plates spinning. After a while the frustration, music and the Chinese shuffle send you into a hypnotic state of addiction (meant in the nicest possible way)! Very good indeed, but not quite mega- league.'

'First of all this was out for the Commodore 64 with its tremendous sound, and I was eager to see the Spectrum version. The Spectrum version seemed to be an exact copy, even down to the same tunes - but saying this the game wasn't even half the fun to play I think sound must have been a major feature of its 'parent'. It just seems to lack the manic drive of the original. Colour has been used well and the graphics are very good, and despite what I have said about the sound, it must be said that they have done very well considering the Spectrum's limitations. Overall a very playable game but one that will probably lack the addictive qualities of a good selling game.'

'Chinese Juggler is less a game and more of a party piece. Its furious pace, helped by the incessant, crazy music, is just the sort of thing for several people to get into hysterics over. Whether it has the appeal overall to last as a single player game, I'm not so sure. It's highly original, amusing and playable but perhaps that's not quite enough to make it a monster hit.'

Control keys: B - SPACE for actions on the plate, O/A up/down, O/P left/right, D/E dis/enable music
Joystick: Kempston
Keyboard play: responsive, sensible positions
Use of colour: good
Graphics: very good, nice animation especially on plates
Sound: excellent tune
Skill levels: progressive difficulty
Lives: 1
Screens: 10
General Rating: An original game which should appeal widely.


Screenshot Text

Lets twist again like we did last summer.