Rocket Roger first slipped out onto the streets
around a year ago now (the last PCW show I seem to recall)
and was met with an apparent lack of enthusiasm from
both press and public. This is probably attributable
to the control being through keys only, and the lack
of joystick compatibility was immediately off-putting
to most. Unfortunate circumstances, for this is one
game that was definitely overlooked and underrated.
this year, Alligata decided to re-release the program
in a slightly revamped form, in that they gave it a
joystick option. All well and good, were it not for
the fact that this is one game that can only be played
effectively with keys. Once again, unfortunately, response
was poor. So we at ZZAP!, being the fair minded crew
that we are, decided it was high time that this 'consumer
discarded product' saw the light of the day once again,
hence this review and the half price offer that you
can find in a few pages time.
low lights and twinkly backdrop. Cue tense background
music. Cue deep, meaningful voice over. Cue review .
a distant galaxy, far, far, far away there orbits a
dark, mystery planet, many light years from Earth and
even further from the local chippy. So far away is this
planet, that Rocket Roger (so nicknamed because of the
powerful jetpack he wears upon his back) has run out
of fuel on his return journey from the outer reaches
of the kzxxqzyjjkwrxk (don't ask me what it means, I
only made the name up) system. Not only does he realise
what a fool he's been in not sufficiently fuelling his
rocket, he's also discovered that he forgot to collect
unknown planet on which our hero has become stranded
is conveniently plentiful in otherwise rare power crystals.
There are also a few active volcanoes, an underground
complex and network of caverns, and more than a fair
share of aliens. If Roger, equipped with his slim-line
jetpack and powerful laser, can successfully collect
enough crystals, ninety nine in all, he can use them
to recharge his spaceship and get back home.
vital minerals are scattered around the planet's thirty
zones, each consisting of around six screens on average.
Obviously, because the size of the playing area is so
large, the whole thing can't be shown on screen at once.
So it's for this reason there is a small window of about
half a screen high, and a screen wide, that scrolls
in all directions.
each zone there is a small white line of moving dots
called a transporter pad. If you walk over one and register
your position, you will be returned to the last pad
touched when you die. Pads aren't the only things that
frequent the zones, as there are two different types
of alien: Patrol Aliens, who move in predictable patterns
and cannot be killed, and Hostile Aliens, who have intelligent
movement and should be shot on sight as they are dangerous.
If Roger stays in the same zone for too long (about
26 seconds), then the Zone Chaser appears, a bit like
the Baiters do in Defender when you take too
long over a wave, homing in for the kill unless dealt
jetpack has a limited quantity of fuel, 5000 units initially,
and it can be topped up with one of the number of fuel
cans found below the planet. Above ground there is nothing
more than rocky peaks, red hot lava, asteroid storms
and saucer attacks. Below ground, however, there is
a large complex consisting of many platforms, elevators,
laser beams, nasty aliens, trap doors, and so on. It's
a bit like the choice between the devil and the deep