As the title suggests, this is the sequel to the classic Spectrum ‘naughty kid’ game, Jack the Nipper. Jack the Nipper II: In Coconut Capers was again written by Greg Holmes (with graphics help by Terry Lloyd) and published by Gremlin Graphics. It first came out on the ZX Spectrum in 1987.
In Jack the Nipper II the main protagonist, Jack (the mischievous baby), explores a large island comprised of 192 different screens, being naughty and filling up the ‘naughtyometer‘ as in the previous game. When the naughtyometer’s been filled Jack can then escape the island. Of course, leaving the island isn’t that simple because it’s filled with hostile natives and animals, and touching any of these will instantly lose Jack a life. In his defence, Jack can throw coconuts at hostiles and has nine lives with which to complete his task. Jack can also carry a second item, but he can only carry two items at once.
The island is populated by trees, caves, ladders, ropes, ponds and floating logs, and there are swinging ropes placed at certain points which Jack can jump onto and act like Tarzan for a few seconds. Jack will also find the occasional mine cart ride in certain places too (shades of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom).
Overall, Jack the Nipper II is an excellent, challenging game, full of character, colour, and jolly tunes. In fact: a different mini tune plays every time you pick up a key item, which adds to the game’s overall appeal. Whether you’d play it enough to complete the game is a different matter, though, and doing so does require quite a bit of back-tracking. But the game is playable, fun and nicely-produced, and is worth a play today if you like platform games.