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Mr. Micro Ltd
Arcade: Platform
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Chris Bourne

Punch & Judy shows probably still exist at the British seaside, but there's no longer any need to travel afield to see a show. Mr. Micro can now bring you all the glitter and sand, right at home on your Spectrum. This game has similarities with Hunchback, but it is all couched in proper Punch & Judy terms - and it speaks!

The playing area is a very expanded and colourful puppet stage which makes up 16 screens, at the end of which Punch has Judy locked up. You are the hero, Bobby, and you must rescue Judy by jumping over or ducking under rotten tomatoes thrown by Punch, leap over gaps, use the flying carpet, swing from the angels' tails and avoid the back-attacking custard pies, whilst leaping over gaps filled with soldiers and clubs. Every once in a while Judy will throw a sausage. If Bobby catches three of these they can be used in an emergency to transport him to the next screen without harm.

A scanner above the stage shows Bobby's progress Each screen is timed for points and each one completed awards a policemans helmet. For every five helmets collected, a bonus is added. A neat feature is that without any added hardware, the program talks - 'That's the way to do it', or more famously, 'Rock the baby, rock the baby.'


It's a very long load, but well worth it. The graphics must be among the most eye-searingly bright I've seen on a game! All the status details are contained in decorative scrolls, written in gothic text. I really liked the evil little theatrical mask 'face' that appears in the clouds and laughs when you lose a life. The game itself is reasonably difficult to play, with timing an essential part, and it gets extremely difficult when there are tomatoes coming from one direction and custard pies from another! Bobby jumps very well, although it takes a bit of practice as this is a very laid back hero! Very good value.'

'The unique thing about this game is that it speaks understandable English without hardware. The use of colour is excellent and the graphics are smooth and very good. Apart from the speech there are very good tunes. The whole thing comes very nicely packaged too, with good instructions on the inlay and on-screen. You can see the task ahead of you with the very good demo. It really is great. Just buy it!'

'Nice simple keys to control Bobby, and a difficult game. Perhaps it gets a bit repetitive after a while, but it's certainly amusing to play and the graphics combined with the speech make it almost worth the money alone.'

Control keys: 6/7 walk left/right, zero = jump, 8 - sausages!
Joystick: Kempston and will work with Sinclair ZX2
Keyboard play: positive, though jumping takes some practice
Colour: excellent
Graphics: very good
Sound: excellent speech and tunes, though a little bare during a screen
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 3 (1 more after 60,000 points)
Screens: 16
Features: programmed speech
General Rating: Excellent.


Screenshot Text

Knocked out by a custard pie, hero Bobby hears the horrible laughter of the theatrical mask above - That's the way to do it!