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Elite Systems Ltd
Arcade: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Rod Lawton
Chris Bourne

Elite's bounce-em-along...

What looks at first sight like a hyperactive caterpillar turns out to be a string of four bouncing balls you have to guide over and through some very hazardous scenery in this lively horizontal scroller. The aim is to collect ten of the small balloons that drift towards you, at the same time avoiding the many flying and earthbound creatures you meet along the way. Touch one of these, and you lose one of your... well, balls. When all four are gone you lose one of your three lives and start that level again.

Joystick controls are simple. Push left to accelerate (increases the speed of the scrolling) and right to decelerate. Pressing the fire button as the lead ball hits the ground gives you extra height for that bounce - useful for catching those higher-flying balloons. Take care though - this also puts you well in range of various seagulls, crows and other airborne predators.

And that's basically the point of the game. Collect the balloons, advance to the next level, collect ten more and so on. With only eight levels to complete, though, the long-term interest is limited.

Nevertheless. Hopping Mad is original, attractive, and really rather fun. It's also addictive enough to keep you coming back again and again until you've cracked it.

Reviewer: Rod Lawton

C64/128, £9.99cs, £11.99dk, Out Now
Spec, £7.99cs, £12.99dk, Out Now
Amstrad, £9.99cs, £14.99dk, Out Now

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 45/100
1 hour: 80/100
1 day: 75/100
1 week: 65/100
1 month: 20/100
1 year: 5/100

It might not look much at first, but it's highly original and highly playable. Finish all the levels, though, and there's nothing left.


Banner Text


Graphics are very good indeed, with bright colours and excellent detail, though the scrolling is not quite as smooth as on the Commodore. Sound is also very good, with the tune playing particularly well, although the sound effects are less than convincing.


Drab colours and sub-Spectrum detail make the the worst version, visually. The effects are good enough, but the tune plays only when the game is first loaded. Disappointing, overall.

Graphics: 4/10

Audio: 5/10

IQ Factor: 3/10

Fun Factor: 7/10

Ace Rating: 517/1000


The usual big, colourful graphics are complemented by a happy title tune and good sound effects during play to create a 'jolly' effect well-suited to the game.

Graphics: 7/10

Audio: 7/10

IQ Factor: 3/10

Fun Factor: 7/10

Ace Rating: 570/1000

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 35/100

1 hour: 80/100

1 day: 75/100

1 week: 65/100

1 month: 20/100

1 year: 5/100

Screenshot Text

SPEC - You've already picked up one balloon, so there's just nine left to go. That rook (?) will lose you a ball if you don't avoid it, as will that nasty pair of jaws on the ground...