The BBC Micro conversion of Ultimate‘s classic Jet Pac looks pretty chunky, graphics-wise, but plays well enough.
The ZX Spectrum version was smash hit when it was first released in 1983, and all the other conversions seem to lack the charm of the original. This one is no exception.
In this BBC Micro conversion the biggest issue I have with it is the laser sound, which is constant, grating white noise. If – like most people – you hold down the fire button as you fly around, the laser sound will eventually get on your nerves. You can turn the sound off, but who really wants to do that when playing a video game?
The other issue I have with it is that – from the second stage onwards – the aliens are incredibly twitchy, which makes avoiding them almost impossible. Especially when a barrel of fuel drops down to the floor. The difficulty curve is wrong in this. The aliens should get gradually more difficult to avoid – not stupidly difficult from stage two…
Jet Pac on the BBC is not a bad effort, but it is definitely flawed. I doubt very much that the original creators of Jet Pac programmed this (Ultimate had a policy of not crediting individual programmers on their games), otherwise it would’ve been better.
More: Jet Pac on Wikipedia