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

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Rich Pelley
Chris Bourne

Not fancying the prospect of spending the rest of his life in an zoo, CJ The Elephant has bailed out of the aeroplane which was taking him to England, using a nearby umbrella as a parachute. Worse still, he's landed in France, with miles (or at least levels) to go in order to get back to his loving family in deepest Africa.

A slightly unfeasible plot, yes (elephants opening umbrellas?), but still a pretty decent multiway scrolling platformy game - a bit like a scrolling Rick Dangerous dare I say (not that that's too much of a bad thing of course).

Firstly, as in Ricky D, the majority of the baddies walk along short platforms in set patterns. and so have to be shot with a peanut (lethal apparently) or bombed with a bomb (if you've collected some). None of this is too tricky, although it does take some time to work where to stand so it's the baddy that's killed, and not you. Also rather Rick Dangerously there are spikes and stuff everywhere (usually directly below you when you leap from a platform and impale yourself on one) so the trick in order to progress is to sort of memorise the layout of each level.

At this point in the review, I think it might be appropriate to mention the graphics, the sound, and how addictive and playable CJ's Elephant Antics is (if at all). Well, the graphics are quite colourful and well drawn (though you do merge in with the background), but the scrolling is extremely jerky. Tsk. And the sound is okayish too. As for addictiveness, well, it comes out trumps (or should that be trunks?), easy to progress (although some parts are seemingly impossible to pass without losing a life). There's a number (I'm not quite sure how many) of different levels, each one set in a different country with varied backgrounds, baddies and end-of-level nasties which adds variety and stems the flow of boredom (although the initial screens admittedly do get repetitive after a while). One extra bonus is the simultaneous 2-player option where the players take a CJ each and work together, which I imagine would up the fun factor considerably (even if it is rather pointless as far as the gameplay goes). A severe lack of friends however means that I can't supply you with any conclusive evidence on that one. (It's a sad story. Ed)

Okay, so he's hardly going to become as famous as Nellie or Undercover, but if we forgive it its jerky scrolling and severe lack of originality, I'd say that CJ The Elephant deserves to become a bit of a star. Antics is simple, cute, clean and cliched fun, and certainly worth its bob or two.


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Here we see CJ and his pal having a few of his antics.