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Jaws
by Intelligent Design Ltd: Malcolm J. Smith
Screen 7 Ltd
1989
Crash Issue 66, July 1989   (1989-06-29)   page(s) 42,43

Jaws hits the Spectrum (Kerrang)! The deadly underwater monster is using his teeth the only way he knows how - by chomping swimmers in the waters surrounding Amity Island.

Brodie, Amity Island's Chief of Police, has to rid the place of this fishy foe. An easy task with big weapons, diving equipment and hard men; but, calamity strikes Amity, the shark-killing gun has been shattered into four segments and lost in the huge aquatic (ie under the water) maze. And you've got to find all the bits You're supplied with a high tech mini-submarine to help you in your search of the depths, but this sub is not invincible, in fact all the little fishies can blow it up at the drop of a hat (or a maggot!).

Some underwater nasties leave behind treasure, bombs, gun bits and other icons which do strange things to the mini-sub but your troubles do net end there. With a limited air supply, you also have to keep an eye on the weather conditions and temperature if the mission is to be a success.

The 128K version has a control panel which provides messages Informing you where sharks have been sighted and places of killings - it's your choice whether to close the beaches or not. Close too many and you will get the sack!

Having assembled the gun a diver replaces the sub. Armed with only four bullets, three must score a direct hit on Jaws to complete the game.

Graphics are of excellent quality and are similar to Cybernoid in style. The animation on the larger sprites (namely Mr Jaws) is good and all the colours hardly clash. The theme tune is in there too - on the title screen - a bit rusty, but recognisable. It seems that all the gun bits are in the same place each game so once you find them it may loose some addictiveness, but you have still got to battle through the fishies. Overall Jaws is otters some good blasting fun.

NICK


'Surprisingly, Jaws doesn't appear very often throughout the game. The bulk of the game is really a map 'n' blast affair and a decent one at that. Attractive graphics, though offering little variety, and neatly executed and splash plenty of colour on screen to keep interest high. Gameplay is also of a high standard and should prove a reel delight for experienced cartographers. Great start for Screen 7.'
RICHARD

Presentation80%
Graphics79%
Sound75%
Playability78%
Addictivity79%
Overall80%
Summary: Not so much Jaws the movie, more a playable underwater blast.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 44, August 1989   page(s) 73

Yikes! Jaws on the Spectrum! it's enough to make you tiddle in your trunks! I mean nobody wants to tackle an amphibious maneater at the best of times, but now he's arrived on the ol' Speccy, you can't exactly avoid him, can you? Mind you, avoid him you must in this, the first game from new label Screen 7 (actually Martech re-launched, fact fans), 'cos if you fall in front of this fish's mandibles it'll be fangs for the memory for sure.

Just like Jaws the film (Steven Spielberg's first blockbuster), Jaws the game is set in the blood-stained waters around Amity island where a Great White shark has been attacking unsuspecting swimmers, the scamp.

You play Bordie, the island's chief of police and it's your job to rid Amity island of the Great White scourge before he ruins the tourist trade. You've already made a bit of a start on the task in hand, having signed up the services of Quint, a local fisherman. Hooper, an oceanographic expert, and a team of three divers. But unfortunately your clean-up campaign has already run into deep water, 'cos the equipment and gun needed to kill Jaws were lost in a reef off the island. So you and the rest of your team must collect the four pieces of the gun from the bottom of the reef (there's one to be found in each level), before going out to kill ol' razor teef himself.

You being this four level, maze like shoot 'em up bobbing on the calm blue water in your boat. This is the information screen which gives you up-to-the-minute wateher, shark and mayor reports. From here you can keep an eye on how well the mayor thinks you're doing, flick to a close-up of the map of the island (where you can close any beaches you like) or plunge into the murky depths below. It's better to wait around a bit, check the weather (if it's stormy or sunny Jaws seems to get a bit more active), wait for a sighting of the Great White, close the beaches near to where he was last seen and then dive in. Splosh!

Coo! it's another world down here, bobbin' along, bobbin' along on the bottom of the beautiful briny sea. Down you plunge in your diving bell, which spurts up cute little air bubbles at intermittent intervals. The underwater world of Jaws, see, is a flip screen, scrolling maze, shoot 'em up affair. Now it's time for dodging and weaving amongst the sea creatures. Blast them to kingdom come, picking up the bonuses, extra lives, points, invisibility modes and smart bombs they leave behind, and map your way through the maze-like reef in your search for the first part of the gun.

The animation of this mazey shoot 'em up bit is excellently done. Although your craft moves and fires fairly slowly through the deep (s'pose it's realistic) water, the sea creatures are bright and colourful, pretty fast moving and spray out deadly amoeba stuff in all kinds of wild and wonderful patterns. And the feeling that Jaws is always menacingly close is also well conjured up 'cos there you are, floating along, when all of a sudden you here 'daa dum, daa dum, da dum da dum da dum da dum' and one of the 15 swimmmers frollicking foolishly in the sea bites the sand. Cripes! Toggle back to the info screen via the space bar, check out where the attack took place and close the nearest beaches.

You have six men, so you get your six lives before finally having to give up your fight. You can play for points or prizes and as there are four levels to map and blast your way through, there's plenty of gameplay here. The graphics are good, the sound (on the 128) is nice, with the jaws tune and lots of phutty motor boat sounds, and all in all it's a fabbo start for Screen 7. Yes, I like it! Chomp!


Life Expectancy87%
Instant Appeal88%
Graphics85%
Addictiveness88%
Overall88%
Summary: A tasty, mazey shoot 'em up game with lots of other elements besides. A biting good game. Buy it!

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 61, January 1991   page(s) 85

You've read the book (er, if there was one), seen the film, peeled the onion and been round to your granny's house for tea. So, er, now play the game. If you haven't played it already that is, because (quelle surprise) this is yet another re-release.

An arcade adventure re-release to be exact, bargain hunters, where you have to flip-screen left and right in a small submarine (avoiding/blasting deadly fish), locate the four bits of a special shark gun, catch up with shark-breath himself and give him one right up the botty. And that's about it really, at least for the 48K members of the audience. 128ers however have also got the beaches to worry about - you have to keep an eye on where around the coastline Jaws is. and shut/close the relevant beaches (for obvious safety reasons).

I haven't actually seen the film (that sort of thing's a bit too scary for me) so I can't tell you how relevant the game is, but I can tell you that it's quite good. Loads of colour, weapons and treasure to collect, puzzles to solve, nicely presented, addictive, playable, and, if perhaps a little tedious, it still makes a pretty tasty barg to snap up (ho ho).


Overall68%
Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 89, August 1989   page(s) 32

Der ner... der ner... der ner, der ner dunda dunda dunda... yikes and cripes here comes old toothy chops himself, and it's up to you to mash him up into shark kebabs. Ready? Well here we go.

Jaws is lurking around the various beaches of Amity, and playing the role of Brodie, the island's chief of police, it is your job to rid the shores of this deep sea beastie. If that job isn't tricky enough it seems that your 'trusty' diving team have lost all the equipment needed to kill the sharky dead. This consists of four gun parts which have sunk to the bottom of a huge underwater cavern.

So all you have to do is drop into the briney in your submarine type boat (it actually looks like a munchman from Pacland) and collect the four gun bits, then give Fish face three blasts in the mush and that's it. No it isn't. You also have to kill of plenty of sea creatures and pick up treasure as well - blimey o-flip they don't ask for much in these games.

Let me tell you about these sea creatures. Some of them flash (ooer) and some of them don't. You can blast the non-flashy ones no problem, but the flashy creatures have to be hit with mega-bullets before they croak. So when you see the mega-bullets bleeping away on your control panel at the top of the screen it's time to give old flashy just what he deserves.

Now and again, after shooting a sea creature he may turn into a time bomb. When this happens rush off the screen like billy-o or you'll be blown to smitherines.

One thing to bear in mind is, if Jaws should float by with his teeth a-gnashing and you haven't yet managed to collect the four gun bits, don't try to shoot him with ordinary bullets - they will have no affect whatsoever.

Another major part of the game is a strategy section. As chief of police you can decide whether to close beaches around the island to guard against shark attacks. On the one hand you will be saving swimmers lives yet on the other you will make Amity's mayor angry because you are turning tourists and their money away from the island. If you close all the beaches you will also lose your job - so it's time to make a few decisions after checking the mayorometer and weather guages (hot weather means a busy beach and big profits, would it be wise to close it?).

Unfortunately, I didn't find this section of the game too exciting, preferring to just trundle around the caverns blamming all the sea beasties.

Earlier on I mentioned the huge underwater cavern. Well, let me tell you, calling it huge has got to be the understatement of the century. I managed to get through at least 30 screens and was told by manufacturers, Screen 7, that I'd only ventured into one fifth of the entire game. Now it took me bloomin' ages to get through that lot, so by my reckoning I should be able to complete Jaws in about 3 weeks time. Sorry, but this game with its slow scrolling and general lack of excitement just doesn't make me want to play for much longer than 10 minutes.

The graphics are fair, I guess, with the most exciting creature being Jaws himself (and you don't see him too often either).

The main problems with this game are the fact that it's far too big, treasure hardly ever appears on screen and I didn't even manage to find one gun bit, let alone four, so had no chance of conquering Mr Fish. Will I ever get through this game? I think there's more chance of me being knighted.

Label: Screen 7
Author: In House
Price: £8.95
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Alison Skeat


Graphics68%
Sound68%
Playability66%
Lastability71%
Overall63%
Summary: Fair underwater shark shooty game. Strategy bit too tedious.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

The Games Machine Issue 21, August 1989   page(s) 89

Spectrum 48/128 Cassette: £9.99, Diskette: £14.99
Commodore 64/128 Cassette: £9.99, Diskette: £14.99
Atari ST £19.99

NO, IT STILL ISN'T SAFE...

Though released way back in 1975, Jaws still stands as one of Spielberg's most popular and successful movies, a great translation of Peter Benchley's original novel. It gave its name to an early Spectrum game in the days before official licences were thought of, but this one is based on the film's plot. You're Brodie, chief of police in the tourist town of Amity, played by Roy Scheider in the film.

Aboard the trawler Orca, with its owner, Quint, and Hooper, an oceanographic expert, status panels above and below the Orca graphic control much of the game's action. Though the main objective is to kill Jaws, Brodie has to keep his job by keeping the death toll down and as many beaches open as possible. To this end, there's a map, temperature/weather gauge, 'Mayorometer', and swimmer death count. These are given to keep track of Jaws's actions as weather changes; using a map screen, beaches are opened and closed at will and the Mayor's reaction to deaths and closures measured on the Mayorometer - if it reaches the top Brodie's sacked.

Other than Quint and Hooper, Brodie also has the help of three divers. The special weapon required to kill Jaws has been split into four pieces and lost amid a reef. One-by-one, the divers - aboard submersible craft - explore the flick-screen undersea mazes, in search of the weapon parts and ammo. Nasty aquatic creatures are destroyed with a gun, flashing ones with mega-bullets, some leaving behind pieces of equipment (see box).

Ultimately, with the special weapon assembled, Brodie, Quint or Hooper faces Jaws, with four mega-bullets and 80 seconds in which to kill the monster.

Screen 7 have chosen a big name for their first release, but the flesh-eating name is virtually all there is to it. Much of the game consists of exploring a maze, shooting enemies and looking out for specific items to collect - an aged format, and though Jaws is a passable game of the type, it hasn't been done particularly well.

The 'strategy' of closing/opening beaches is little more than a filler to make it seem more substantial - keeping an eye on the displays helps break up the shoot-'em-up/maze action but it's limited, dull and - excuse the pun - lacks bite.


Overall44%
Summary: Though maze floors and walls are a yellow/green/cyan patchwork, there's a nice spread of colour amongst the underwater creatures. They're compactly drawn, well animated, and mill about busily. Cleanly programmed, Spectrum Jaws (pictured right) isn't at all bad but the machines had more

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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