Jet Set Willy: The Final Barrier
It's the Spectrum hit featuring Miner Willy on his weary travels around the mansion, collecting discarded party junk so that Maria, his disapproving housekeeper, will allow him into his four-poster for some shut-eye!
On the Amstrad, this loads in 22 blocks and seems to take an age. How about a built in save-to-disc option, software houses? And the software protection card will no doubt foil the tape-to-tapers. Once the code is in, however, what joy! The Moonlight Sonata in glorious stereo, which sounds even better when amplified. Really great, as is the bouncy two-part tune which accompanies the action.
The screen is a faithful reproduction of the Spectrum version, at least in style. Small mono-coloured sprites smoothly walk, bounce, spin, twist and cavort about. Flying pigs, vacuum cleaners, cooks, ducks; you name it! Strangely, the chosen colours seem dull in comparison, though the bonus is a number of new rooms, just as tricky as the original, and the option to change colours to ones more suited to the green-screen monitor; very thoughtful.
There's no doubt this is a classic; challenging, addictive and fun. But given that this is a conversion to a more sophisticated machine, a fact acknowledged by the superb music, couldn't the graphics have been better too? Blagger, for example, has multi-coloured sprites, and more interesting screens. Given too, the enormous interest in “cheat pokes”, why not build in a practice mode which gives the option of infinite lives and jumping to any room?
D.M. , HCW