If you go wey back to 1983, then you might have come across this classic little game Jetpac. Jetpac was created by Chris Stamper and the graphics by Tim Stamper from Ultimate or Ashby Computers & Graphics as they were known as back then and this was also the companies first release.
Jetpac was written for the BBC, Commodore Vic 20, (expanded with an 8K Ram pack) and available on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum on tape and cartridge. I preffer the Vic 20 version as the sounds are better than the spectrum and I am quite amazed how they have managed to cram this great game into such a small amount of memory.
In the game, you are a cheif test pilot for the ‘Aceme Interstellar Transport Company’. You are provided with the very latest Hydrovac Jetpac to enable you to fly around and airlift almost any rocket stage, fuel pod or valuables that you may come across.
Before you can fly the rocket you first have to assemble each craft in order and then fuel the spaceship with six fuel pods. Each item that you land on will automatically be lifted or collected, as you fly over the base of the craft sections or fuel will automatically be dropped so you can build your ship in sections or fuel your ship in stages before you can fly it to your next destination (were funnily enough you have to start all over again).
This might sound simple but its a lot harder than it sounds as aliens will try to prevent you from completing your task. To help you in your task to destroy these aliens you have been equipt with a megga powerful, Quad Photon Laser. This is much needed as when you collect any precious gems you will come after you!
A couple of ther enemies that will give you the run around is the “dart” enemy tends to hover in a vertical column on the left-hand side of the screen until it fires across the screen whereas, the “flying saucer” aliens will follow you around and so requires a different strategy.
After the first level is completed, your rocket just requires re-fuelling as it stays assembled but after every five levels the rocket is changed with a newer designed model that features a higher number written on it. This will have to be built before it can be fuelled for take off.
Jetman got some great reviews for the magazines such as ‘Crash magazine’ and ‘ZX Computing’ with Your Sinclair voting it as the 14th best Spectrum game of all time.
Two sequels were released: Lunar Jetman (1983) was available on various platforms and Solar Jetman: Hunt for the Golden Warpship (1990) which never made it on the Spectrum due to poor sales of the NES version. An enhanced remake of Jetpac, entitled Jetpac Refuelled, (as shown in the header) was released to Xbox Live Arcade on March 28, 2007 as a final send off but who knows, it may make a come back in many years to come!