Reviewed by Jim Short


Issue 22

Jul/Aug 86

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Bignose Software

48K cassette/disk

1 Player




Author Paul Lay is a regular Page 6 contributor and was responsible for the excellent 'Freeway Ace' in Issue 16. This time he makes the progression into the hard commercial world with an all machine code arcade type game entitled SPRONG.

In SPRONG you must guide a pogo-jumping character through an incredible 50 screen adventure to claim the elusive 'Golden Pogostick'. You traverse each screen from left to right, leaping across various assorted platforms of all shapes, forms and sizes.

The game opens up with a neat little title screen (which then becomes Screen 1 of the game itself) accompanied by a jazzed-up version of the song 'Danny Boy' - an unusual but nonetheless well orchestrated musical choice. Like all theme music it becomes annoying after a short while and can be turned off if desired.

SPRONG has a certain cartoon feel to it with every single screen possessing it's own unique background scenery ranging from houses of little towns or villages, wooded countryside, underground caverns and a host of other artistically drawn designs. Obstacles include moving platforms, raging fires, lava flows, lazer beams, acid rain, lightning, helicopters, meteors etc. and critical timing is required to jump your way past them all. You are limited in your jumping ability, but pressing the fire button gives you extra 'oomph' to leap those long distances.

If, by some minor miracle, you make it through all 50 screens you are then treated to a 'Graphics Spectacular' depicting that illustrious Golden Pogostick.

SPRONG shares certain similarities with English Software's KISSIN' KOUSINS. However, I must stress that these similarities are only superficial and SPRONG boasts vastly superior graphics and playability. Paul has made exceptional use of the Atari's colour palette and could show many Atari programmers a thing or two in this respect. Some of them seem to think the Atari is limited to it's four default colours!

I would be lying if I were to say that SPRONG was easy to play. It rates pretty high in the difficulty league, but it's addictive enough to keep you coming back for more. Plenty of variety too - how many other games have 50 different screens? A splendid first-time effort!