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Konami Ltd
1987
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Alkatraz Protection System

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30,31
Tamara Howard
Chris Bourne

'Left. Right. Left. Um. H-A-L-T!!!! Abo-o-o-ut Face!! Stand easy, no talking in the ranks, listen 'ere you 'orrible lot! You got to rescue these 'ostages! You got to blow up the gun towers! Sgt Murray was a cruel man.

So off the team wandered to play Jackal, long awaited conversion of the ever-so-popular coin-op. We set off after fighting over who was to drive our tastefully camouflaged jeep. Trying to stop Jim from murdering small furry animals with the submachine gun was no easy task.

As we hurtled through the scrolling desert night, we pondered our mission. What, we wondered, was the point?

The point hit us soon enough, when we discovered the first group of men. Marching jerkily towards us, guns at the ready, they looked brave, if small. David put a stop to their little tricks, by running them down with a quick handbrake turn and a nifty change into third.

We passed huge gun turrets with revolving cannon and dodged some pretty big really bullets. We evaded chunky tanks and blew up innocent looking huts. We rescued the odd prisoner and saw our helicopters take them safely home. We picked up bonus weaponry and crossed bridges. We got blown up quite a lot too.

And then we had a bit of a rest and a Jaffa cake. And thought, "Gosh, this is hard." (You know what wimps we are). Yes, Operation Jackal is what can only be described as "A piece of tricky programming!"

It's not a bad game. It's faithful to the coin-op, all the jeeps do the right things, blowing you up and so on, and you can even run over the little men, far more exciting than just shooting them. But it's soooo hard. The jeep you're driving nips about in a mad frenzy!

Perhaps because it's so hard, there's a real feel of, "just one moregowhathitmethattimethat'snotfairIneversawitcoming," about Jackal. If you're a die-hard player of all-action arcade games then you're going to love it. But if you're easily disheartened, inclined to wander off after only three goes because you just can't get past the third jeep, then you might leave Jackal thinking you've been swizzed.

I rather liked Jackal. It is, as I've said, good solid arcade action, and you'll need lightning reflexes to really get into it. The graphics, although perhaps a touch sketchy, are adequate, and there's a good feel of the coin op about it.

Label: Konami
Author: Cyclone
Price: £7.95
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Tamara Howard

Fast moving arcade action. Perhaps a little hard for the wimps among us, but a pretty good conversion nonetheless.

7/10