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Arcade: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K

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Chris Bourne

Rodents have often made it to the top in showbiz (Mickey Mouse, Roland Rat, Esther Rantzen etc), but Peter Pack Rat is far too busy collecting things to bother about fame. He just loves to hoard items of minimalistic art: namely old bottles and cans from his local junkyard. However, nasty Riff Rat is out to get Peter - perhaps he's also a closet junk-collector! And Riff is not alone: Peter's long list of enemies includes dogs, cats, spiders, owls, bats, snakes, and even an alligator - is this guy popular or what?!

While avoiding these baddies, Peter must collect a set number of treasures within the time limit, and take them back to his nest. The cute furry rodent is an agile little fellow, climbing ladders, jumping across gaps and sliding down chutes and pipes. They say there's nothing quite so vicious as a rat backed into a corner, and in tight situations Peter can throw collected stones at his assailants. This stuns them for a while (I'm not surprised; have you ever seen a rat throwing stones?!), and also allows Peter to be carried by dazed bats and birds, until they decide to drop him! When Pete has collected all the 'treasure' from the junkyard, he can look for more in the sewer and up a tree.

If you think you've seen something like this in your local arcade, you're right: Peter Pack Rat is an old Tengen coinop. It has been converted to the Spectrum by ace programmers, Software Creations (Bubble Bobble, Bionic Commando, LED Storm), and it shows. The various animals are nicely animated, while sound is even better; good effects plus a brilliant 'whistling' 128K in-game tune. Although Peter Pack Rat is a simple 'platform and ladders' game, it's amazingly addictive. For a mere two quid, you can't miss it.