sábado, 13 de setembro de 2014

Rick Dangerous [1989, Amiga / ZX Spectrum / C64 / DOS] Review - It's a Pixel THING



As the developers themselves admit, this title was heavily based on the Indiana Jones adventures. As the game starts, you’re immediately chased by a giant boulder, just like in the first Indiana Jones movie, Raiders of The Lost Ark.

Developed by Core Design and published, in 1989, by Firebird Software, it was available for the greatest machines of the time: Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST, PC, Amstrad CPC and the ZED X Spectrum. This was the first original game created by Core Design who later became famous for the success of their Tomb Raider franchise. Thinking of that, is Rick Dangerous the biological father of Lara Croft?.. Hummmm…

Part time hero and stamp collector, Rick Dangerous is hunger for adventure. Set in 1945, he hears a rumor about a lost tribe somewhere on the Amazon jungle. He plans his trip and, moments before landing, something went wrong with the airplane. A normal thing to happen when you travel air-penguin! Rick’s plane crash lands in the jungle right in the spot where the tribe was supposed to be lost! The Goolu people felt somewhat disturbed by the wreckage and starts hunting the adventurer down. Between all the mayhem, Rick Dangerous manages to get some ammo for his gun and also some dynamite to give the natives a taste of hell!

There are four levels of constant action and peril where Rick must avoid, at all costs, the hostile natives and countless traps. A good feature, kind of unique at the time, is the presence of reset points scattered throughout each level, so, if you lose a life, you won’t have to start the level all over again. Sadly, on the other hand, there’s no save option or a password that you could use later to pick up where you left off.

Level two is set in Egypt. Don’t know how he managed to travel from the Amazon jungle to this pyramid.. maybe there was a portal of some kind, just like in the ancient astronauts theory by Erich Von Daniken and one of its greatest supporter, Giorgio Tsoukalos.

After getting through the pyramid’s traps and foes, Rick sets off to recue some allied soldiers that are being kept in Castle Schwarzendumpf, a dangerous Nazi stronghold. Rick is able to jump and climb and can also carry a limited amount of ammo. Always remember that most of the traps that can kill you can also be used against the enemy! It’s very useful when you’re out of ammo.

After rescuing all soldiers, they tell us that the Nazis are planning a missile attack on London, so Rick has to infiltrate their secret missile base. If he successfully completes this last mission, Rick returns to London finding that the city is under attack by aliens! And this is the premise for its second installment: Rick Dangerous 2, released a year later, in 1990, that I personally didn’t enjoy much.

Back to Rick Dangerous One, and now examining the whole package, there’s a huge discrepancy between the cover art and the game’s cartoonish approach. Even the artwork on the instructions booklet is totally different from the box art. There was also an eight page comic book that introduces Rick and works as an intro to the game. As we can see, the original idea was to make a more serious game with Rick dangerously close to the Indiana Jones character.

To conclude, Rick Dangerous is a brilliant game that combines humorous graphics and devious gameplay. There are plenty of horrible shocks and surprises – when you think the coast is clear, a poisoned dart whizzes out of a hole in the wall or spikes pop up from the ground. There are also moving blocks, traps to puzzle out and pallets of angry enemies to dodge.

Graphical differences apart, Rick Dangerous plays identical on all formats and machines.


Try it! You won’t regret it!


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