Thursday, January 22, 2009
CJ's Elephant Antics (C64, 1991)
Right, here's how it is. You're CJ the elephant (are you?). You're captured and they 'll put you in a zoo (damn). But somehow you escape (yeah). So what do you do? Head back to your family in Africa of course. But.. not so easy. You have to find your way to Africa via four levels of platforming action and such destinations such as France, the snowy Switzerland, Egypt and Africa itself.
The game is a classic platformer. You don't jump on enemies Mario-style, but instead you shoot them with peanuts. You can also throw bombs at them (if you find any around, which you'll do), and there's a simultaneous two-player option. There's also a sub-game that involves biking through obstacles and collecting balloons, which is just that, a sub-game.
OK, so let's not be over-analytical here. I'll be short and sweet. The first three levels are pure magic, with excellent evocative graphics (including a bash around the Eiffel Tower and a tour across the Egyptian pyramids), a great and slightly melancholic tune, and with your basic fun platforming action. And you know what, this was a budget game, which means that while you were buying overpriced pap like, say, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for 20 pounds, this one merely cost 3 pounds. Nice one Codemasters.
PS - The game was such a success that Codemasters released three clones later on (CJ in the USA, DJ Puff's Capers and Stuntman Seymour), while a third installment (CJ in Space) sadly got lost in the translation (any news on that Games That Weren't?).