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Derek Brewster
Arcade: Platform
ZX Spectrum 48K

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John Gilbert
Chris Bourne

HEY rat fans, Roland has a competitor in Jasper, a 22 screen arcade game which is about as much fun as bubonic plague.

In this overland, and overhyped, version of Manic Miner Jasper has to jump and crawl through assorted obstacles, such as yellow bears and spiders, collecting treasure chests and money bags which grow on trees. The bags give the furry rodent energy and extra lives, all of which you will need to get through even the first three screens.

On novelty which is not available in Manic Miner is that you can move off both edges of the screen into other scenarios without scrambling through exits. The game is not mapable as we found when we went off the first screen with its bionic bunny to a prowling wild cat. Moving back to what should have been a rabbit screen disclosed a new format with yellow panthers. Confused?

The game is not compatible with joysticks, or at least does not proclaim their use on the cassette insert. Once loaded the computer launches into a demo mode and no joysticks show up there either. Jasper may only require a few control keys to play but it is an obvious candidate for joysticks and it is amazing that they are not included.

John Gilbert

Memory: 48K
Price: £6.95