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?).



Donncha said...

Oh yes, definitely a wonderful game. Must dig it out again. I wonder if I can find the original tape I bought all those years ago...

Merman said...

Choice Software used the experience of working on a conversion of New Zealand Story (pulled at the last minute by Ocean and taken in-house) to create CJ's Elephant Antics. It's a great little game for a budget price, the simultaneous 2-player mode being very well done.

Jim Slip said...

Yup. My only moan is the spiky collision detection.