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Code Masters Ltd
Arcade: Platform
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K

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James Leach
Chris Bourne

Blimey O'Reilly! These CodeMaster type people really are into America at the mo! Not only is Seymour dashing off to Hollywood, but his elephantine chum CJ is following in his slimy slug-trail.

CJ in The USA is programmed by the same team of bods, Big Red Software, but the only similarity between it and Seymour is that they're both playable and they're both way colourful. What we've got here is four levels of scrolling platform screenery with you, as CJ, travelling across the States trying to rescue loads of other elephants somewhere in the levels. Believable? I don't think so. Instead of screen-flips (like the Dizzy or Seymour games), each level is like a huge screen that you can only see a bit of at a time. It works well (it's fast, in other words) but it does make your eyes go funny after a while.

If you ignore the fact that CJ, an elephant, is the same size as the rats, pit-bulls and cowboys he meets on his travels across America you'll get on very well with the game. Its playable, fast and has smooth graphics and collision detection. Yep, it's definitely a goody. In fact there's only one thing wrong with it and that's the eye-boggling scrolling. It fair puts you off your trifle! I maybe a bit squeamish, but it mattes me, er, feel pukey.


CJ in The USA is full of nice touches - whenever CJ falls off a platform he opens an umbrella to stop him dropping too fast. Believable? I don't think so. But it looks nice all the same. There are also lifts to jump on and all sorts of spikes and pitfalls to avoid. Everything, in fact, that you'd expect to see in a decent platform game. Another good little, er thing, is that CJ is supposed to be in the USA, so the Codies have put in Mount Rushmore, Disneyland, Cape Canaveral and loads of other USA-type things, just to add that atmsopheric, um, atmosphere.

So if you're a platform jumping type person you should be well pleased with CJ in The USA. Its easy to get into but tough to finish, and the little elephant is sooo cute that it had me in tears on more than one occasion. But as everyone knows, I'm just a big softie. Even those Andrex ads have me weeping uncontrollably (and they're not even on TV anymore).

CJ is cute and cuddly but don't be misled - it's a tough, well put-together game.


Screenshot Text

CJ, on the right, collects an elephant. Get 'em all and you've won. Then you can sell the ivory for a swift £500! (Actually, that was a joke!)

More platforms than Paddington Station, and they're easier to jump off!

Here he is, the Anneka Rice of the elephant world, fearlessly parachuting between the levels.