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1984
Arcade: Maze
£6.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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95,96
Chris Bourne

Giant's Revenge is a follow up program to Thor's Jack and the Beanstalk. Like Jet Set Willy it comes with a colour code anti-copying protection device. Unfortunately, and unlike Jet Set Willy, this card is so badly printed that it is hard to distinguish some of the colours except under ideal lighting conditions. The pale blue (cyan) and green are almost identical and hard to decipher unless either side by side or seen in bright light. Also, unlike Jet Set Willy, you are only allowed one go at a correct entry which seems pointlessly mean and silly when one is talking about a four to five minute loading time. This makes getting started a little fraught. On the other hand, you are treated to a very fast run through of all the screens you are about to tackle, which is colourful and useful.

The scenario goes that Jack is bored after his defeat of the giant until one morning he notices a hole in the ground left by the giant's fall. Entering, Jack discovers that the giant isn't dead at all, but has built a complex of caverns under the ground where he now lives. Giants everywhere have this odd habit of accumulating treasures, and Jack must go and collect them, including the Elixir of Life.

Giant's Revenge takes the same graphics and game idea as Jack and the Beanstalk, where you must walk Jack around seven screens, finding the correct route and collecting the one object on each screen before being able to get onto the next. The principle difference here is that there is no fire to halt the various meanies found on each screen. The screens start off outside Jack's house and descend via a ladder into the first of the caverns; this is followed by a long cave with stalactites, then some planks over a pool, a large room, some stairs down to the cellar, the foot of the giant's bed and finally to the giant himself at the bottom of the beanstalk roots.

CRITICISM

'The less said about the colour code protection the better. At least the inlay for this game states quite boldly that you cannot get off a screen without an object, so you shouldn't waste time with that one. Throughout, the graphics are very colourful and well drawn. But like J & TBS the way you are killed off for getting near to the edge of the screen is not realty a game element _ it just makes the game less interesting to play because it's so damned irritating. If you liked J & TBS then you're bound to like Giant's Revenge, as they are pretty much identical. On the other hand, as a follow up it's disappointing that nothing new has been done. I found it more frustrating than addictive.'

'Giant's Revenge is as hard as the previous Thor game because the allowed route is very narrow. But it's fun to play and makes you want of go on. Fortunately the nasties all follow the same pattern each time, so it becomes easier to work out how to avoid them. The seven screens are very colourful and attractive, which helps make the game playable. Addictive if you can stand the pace.'

'The graphics are certainly lovely to look at, but I don't think they work all that well in the game. It's hard to work out why you get killed by touching a monster because sometimes you don't and sometimes you do. You can walk Jack right through a collectable object and fail to get it, and the sort of 3D drawing makes the game as confusing to play, or as imprecise to play, as Jack and the Beanstalk was. The real element of playability is finding the right route through each screen, and this adds some addictivity to it, but seven screens don't seem very much these days, even with varied graphics and I think that lowers its value for money somewhat.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: well laid out, Q/W left/right, O/K up/down, P to jump
Joystick: Kempston - annoying it's not mentioned on the inlay though
Keyboard play: responsive
Use of colour: very good, with a few attribute problems
Graphics: very good
Sound: continuous tune and effects, a bit slower with microspeech
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 4
Screens: 7
Features: Currah Micro-speech compatible and voice effects
General Rating: A great looking game that somehow lacks real playability.

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