#80 Jet Set Willy

Posted: 30th November 2018 by Jeroen in Games
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743rd played so far

Genre: Platform
Platform: ZX Spectrum
Year of Release: 1984
Developer: Software Projects
Publisher: Software Projects/Tynesoft

Some games are on this list because of their legacy and place in history, rather than being the best out there – if you grew up with it, you probably consider it great, but it’s not necessarily that good (or accessible) as modern games. For me, these home PC platformers feel like they’re in that group, with Jet Set Willy being fondly remembered but, from all I can see, maybe a bit outdated and not having stood the test of time as, say, Pac-Man or even MUD has.

I mean, that’s probably sacrilege to those who grew up with it, but home machine platformers haven’t impressed me much yet and later changed things so much that I am hesitant to expect much of this game.

Our Thoughts

And of course I’d seen enough to know this game wasn’t as impressive. This platformer isn’t too impressive now. While it has an interesting larger world, spanning several screens that create more routes through the area. You’re running around through the house, picking up items to clean it up and can only go to bed after that. While it’s a slightly different story, the house isn’t consistent enough to pull it off – it could just be any group of random screens.

I didn’t do well with the controls. Stairs are awkward (jumping makes you go through them) and hitboxes and jumps made it difficult to avoid any hazards. I got through a few screens, but I struggled to really get past anything but the simplest.

I guess what didn’t help is that collection of random screens – on these open games, exploration can be its own reward, with a tension between what you expect and the surprises you can get from it. Here, however, everything is so disjointed that the rewards aren’t there and the effort I put in doesn’t feel right. Some actual foculs would have been nice, but what’s there now doesn’t hold up anymore.