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Arcade: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K

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Tony Dillon
Chris Bourne

Peter Pack Rat is a simple game. It's also a conversion of an old arcade title of the same name by Tengen which, strangely enough, I've never heard of. That said, it's FAB!

You are Peter Pack Rat and you live in a little ratty pad, somewhere really dirty. That's the problem. Not only is Peter a rat, he's a social outcast. A bit like a heavy metal fan in the rat scene. Anyway, the thing that's sort of ruined his chances of ever being socially accepted as normal is that he's tidy. Not only does he not like mess, he absolutely hates it. So much so that he's prepared to go out into the dangerous world, against the will of Riff Rat, the leader of the evil gang of the Rats of Flatbush.

He starts in the junkyard, and somehow, probably rat-intuition, he knows that hidden out there, there are three pieces of junk. Off he sets, with the aim of finding and retrieving them.

The game is viewed side on with loads of platforms, ladders and miles more beside. There are springboards that catapult you to previously unreachable areas, that might just contain one of the missing pieces of junk. Some areas of the platforms are covered in moss, making them slippery. Normally to be found at either side of these slippery ledges are slopes, which lead down to a large pool of water, which takes you a while to climb out of and usually results in you being killed by something that can move a lot faster than you.

The enemy consists of Flatbush the rat, who wanders about the levels, killing you on contact. Scrapper is a dog that runs along the ground. Sticky the spider has a large web somewhere on the map and more often than not, one of the pieces of rubbish is hidden in his web. Nite Owl and Slugger the Bat fly around the map with the intention of giving you as much grief as possible. The good thing about the owl and the bat is that if you shoot them, you stun them. While stunned, they can be used to carry you to any location. Great huh?

The graphics are pretty dam good. All the sprites have been really well defined and animated. Backdrops are nice and colourful but the scrolling (optional) isn't too good. One out of four isn't bad.

Sound has been neglected slightly. There is no in-game music, only the odd effect here and there, and no title tune either. Not even in 128K. Naughty naughty.

Peter Pack Rat has to be one of the best games I have seen in ages. It plays well, is challenging, is fun and what's more, it's original! What more could you want?

Label: Silverbird
Author: Software Creations
Price: £1.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Tony Dillon

Playable arcade collecty romp from an unknown coin-op. Well worth the dosh.