REVIEWS COURTESY OF ZXSR

Jackle & Wide
by Stephen N. Curtis, RUB
Bulldog Software [1]
1987
Crash Issue 41, June 1987   (1987-05-28)   page(s) 105

After years of research, Dr Jackie perfects the everlasting youth potion which he has long sought. However, on downing the mysterious brew he's transformed into his evil after ego, Mr Wide. Foolishly Jackie produced no antidote before this metamorphosis. So, the secret laboratory of Dr Piqued (a rival scientist who may have formulated a remedy) must be found and entered if Jackie is ever to feel himself again.

In this arcade adventure, Wide cycles through Hyde Park before entering the sewer maze which hides Piqued's lab. A bird's-eye view is given of the park with the screen scrolling vertically to reveal pathways in the four usual directions.

In the park, our hero discovers useful objects, such as a double-headed axe, a sea-sickness pill, some vanishing herbs and sparkling gems - four of which can be carried at any one time. They assist Wide in solving riddles which take him further towards Piqued's hideaway. An on-screen message gives hints (can you swim?, go left) and identifies any acquired item, with an inventory of carried objects available when required.

Once below, Wide abandons his bike and tip-toes through a labyrinth of sewer rooms. Some rooms quickly diminish Wide's energy, whilst others are full of gas which increases the time countdown against which the game is played, yet more fill with rising water. Hasty exits can be made through doorways.

Creatures fatal to the touch lurk in some sewers, while others merely reduce Wide's energy level which must never reach zero. The rate of energy loss is diminished if Wide carries appropriate objects (for instance, the sea-sickness pill counteracts rising water). Energy reserves are topped up by firing at the 'intelligent spike'.

The park can be revisited from certain sections of the sewer. However, once left, the scientific scoundrel cannot return through the same entrance. On re-entry, Wide receives a full complement of energy.

COMMENTS
Control keys: Q/A up/down, O/P left/right, Symbol Shift to fire
Joystick: Kempston, Interface 2
Use of colour: rather varied; often excellent, sometimes dull
Graphics: busy scrolling backgrounds and reasonable sized sprites
Sound: poor
Skill levels: one
Screens: scrolling park area, nine sewers and the final chamber


'I was beginning to think that Bulldog would be one of the most notable budget software houses around, Feud was an excellent start and Colony had quite a few good points. However, Jackie and Wide is disappointing in comparison. The basic plot of 'find an object so you can complete a sub-game' has been used to its limit by now and should really be forgotten. The underground sequence looks good but plays badly and the Hyde Park section is very primitive Indeed. Uninteresting and at times tedious so lasting appeal is very limited.'
BEN

'I spent most of the time with Jackie and Wide wandering about, trying to work out exactly what 1 was supposed to be doing. However, during this ramble I did notice that the screens were nearly all the same - in fact all aspects of the graphics are appalling. Also, a little sound would have gone a long way towards making play more enjoyable. I will give some credit though, the game is original, but perhaps you can't expect a great deal for a budget price.'
GARETH

'The instructions are vague and unhelpful. However, I found the gameplay to be very simple, and spent my time wishing that there was more to it. Graphically, the program ranges from colourful and distinct characters to plain and unimaginative backgrounds. Despite the strong story line, Jackie and Wide involves little more than trudging around and getting very bored.'
PAUL

Presentation51%
Graphics50%
Playability38%
Addictiveness38%
Value for Money47%
Overall41%
Summary: General Rating: A good, and often original idea falles into a sadly cliched game lacking content.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 64, July 1987   page(s) 46

Poor old Dr. Jackie. He's spent years researching the formula for the transforming potion, and now he ends up as a blob on a bicycle. Bad news Uh?

Jackie and Wide is a budget release from Bulldog, and that's about the best description I can give you. Sad to say, Jackie and Wide ain't much cop.

Part one of the game takes place in Hyde Park, which you cycle round on the trendy old Penny Farthing. (Hence the blob on the bicycle comment). Whilst cycling around, admiring the way your tyres go blue, green, yellow, blue, green, yellow as you ride over the flower beds, you can pick up some things. Like a two-headed axe, a sparkling gem and a sea- sickness tablet. (By this time I was feeling pretty nauseous, so I was glad of the last item). Then you can solve some problems. What problems, I hear you cry! Well, little things like being told to cut a path through the hedge and then finding that it's impossible to get your otherwise very useful two- headed axe to chop through. Once you've picked up some things, but not the only really useful looking thing, a key, which was stuck behind the invincible hedge, you can go to the Underground and poke around down there.

Well, down the sewers you'll find a number of nasties, all busy zapping your energy and trying to drown you in the ever- rising flood waters. You can run about in a few rooms, have your energy zapped a lot, and drop dead. Thrilling.

There's obviously a good game lurking in the Jekyll and Hyde story, but this one isn't it. Jackie and Wide is not a winner.

Label: Bulldog
Price: £1.99
Joystick: various
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: Tamara Howard

3/10

Yet another walk about a bit and pick up things then solve the puzzles sort of game. But not one to rave about.Poor old Dr. Jackie. He's spent years researching the formula for the transforming potion, and now he ends up as a blob on a bicycle. Bad news Uh?

Jackie and Wide is a budget release from Bulldog, and that's about the best description I can give you. Sad to say, Jackie and Wide ain't much cop.

Part one of the game takes place in Hyde Park, which you cycle round on the trendy old Penny Farthing. (Hence the blob on the bicycle comment). Whilst cycling around, admiring the way your tyres go blue, green, yellow, blue, green, yellow as you ride over the flower beds, you can pick up some things. Like a two-headed axe, a sparkling gem and a sea- sickness tablet. (By this time I was feeling pretty nauseous, so I was glad of the last item). Then you can solve some problems. What problems, I hear you cry! Well, little things like being told to cut a path through the hedge and then finding that it's impossible to get your otherwise very useful two- headed axe to chop through. Once you've picked up some things, but not the only really useful looking thing, a key, which was stuck behind the invincible hedge, you can go to the Underground and poke around down there.

Well, down the sewers you'll find a number of nasties, all busy zapping your energy and trying to drown you in the ever- rising flood waters. You can run about in a few rooms, have your energy zapped a lot, and drop dead. Thrilling.

There's obviously a good game lurking in the Jekyll and Hyde story, but this one isn't it. Jackie and Wide is not a winner.

Label: Bulldog
Price: £1.99
Joystick: various
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: Tamara Howard


Overall3/10
Summary: Yet another walk about a bit and pick up things then solve the puzzles sort of game. But not one to rave about.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Computer Issue July 1987   page(s) 68,69

Spectrum
Publisher: Bulldog Software

Strange game. Very strange.

Remember the story of Jeckyll and Hyde? Well, in as much as you ever need a storyline behind an arcade game like this, Jackle and Wide is a variation on that. As kindly Dr Jackle you obtained a formula to make a transformation potion from your enemy, Dr Piqued. Now you've taken the potion and become the evil Mr Wide, though you're not so evil that you actually want to continue being Mr Wide. But you don't have the antidote - can you make your way through the underground maze of sewers beneath Hyde Park to find Piqued's secret laboratory and hope that he has the means to turn you back into Jackle?

Now play on... If you can figure out what is going on. There are two sections: above the ground in Hyde Park and in the Underground Labyrinth of the sewers. In Hyde Park Mr Wide looks rather odd as you get a bird's eye view of him riding a penny-farthing. As well as moving around using keyboard or joystick (Sinclair, Kempston, Protek), there are options to pick up or drop the objects that are lying around, such as axes, gems and stones. Quite what you do with these, and where you might drop them to have any effect, is up to you to figure out. Shades of the MikroGen Wally games.

The playing area above ground is one long sequence of vertically scrolling screens, all stacked on top of each other, and though the screens are unusual in design and sometimes weirdly pretty, the movement itself is so slow, with precious little to find or do at first, that I was in danger of becoming bored. There are doors to the underground network on some of the screens, but all are locked except for one at the bottom.

Slowly, some kind of sense began to appear, helped by cryptic clues that were being printed from time to time on the screen. Dropping one object near a boulder removed that obstacle, allowing me to pick up a rusty key, and some oil-filled sponges might have helped make the key usable - I say might, because the key disappeared and I was told to go to the quarry, where another object helped cut a path to an underground door, though that door remained locked. Then time, as usual, ran out. A counter ticks down from 9999, and the lack of a pause feature can b a nuisance - why does everyone ring you in the middle of playing a game like this? Including the editor to ask where the software reviews are. They're coming, they're coming...

Just got to figure out what's going on underground, first. Here your energy very quickly drains away as you encounter hostile beings in another sequence of screens connected by stairs and doors. The instructions tell you that you can slow down your rate of energy decrease if you know how, as well as regain energy, but they also tell you to beware the rising flood water, the intelligent spike, the green bottle and the room full of time increase gas.

Strange, very strange, tut it's definitely growing on me and as one of the rare arcade-adventures that allows you to save your game and re-load it later, this has to he worth investigating. After all, it might suit you if you're pretty strange yourself.


OverallNot Rated
Transcript by Chris Bourne

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