Tehkan (now Tecmo) had created this popular arcade game in 1984 and it already been converted to most 8-bit machines in 1986.
A 16-bit conversion was always on the cards and Bombjack arrived on the Commodore Amiga in 1989 - and whilst it was a playable game it was also a little disappointing.
ZX Spectrum Bombjack had been an awesome conversion, but on the Amiga we were treated to a lazy Atari ST port, which of course would just not do...
In this (by 1989 a retro arcade game) you controlled Jack - a 'superhero' who could leap incredibly high and gracefully glide to the ground.
He could diffuse bombs too by simply touching them - I suppose that's why he was called Bomb Jack. Anyway - in this arcade game a load of bombs (depicted in a cartoon style - black 'balls' with a fizzing lit fuze) had been placed in famous locations all around the world.
Just why is anyones guess!
The locations were:
The Sphinx and pyramids
The object of the game was to 'diffuse' the bombs and defeat the various enemies on each screen, with screen having one of the famous locations as a backdrop. The screens matched up with the original arcade game quite well.
Each of the screens usually had platforms on it too - you couldn't jump through these platforms but you could land on them and walk across them if you wanted to - giving a nice mix of arcade action and classic platform gaming.
Various nasties populated each screen such as robots, birds and deadly snails (yep, deadly snails!) which would take one of your three lives on contact with you.
You had to manouver around these nasties by leaping and 'floating' around the screen, you could also change direction in mid-air which was pretty cool.
Once you had collected/diffused the first bomb (they never exploded, no matter how long you let them fizzle away) another one's fuse would ignite.
You could collect them all in the order that they 'lit up' - but it didn't really matter if you didn't bother, you could still complete each game screen no matter in what order you collected them.
If you did collect them all in order a bonus was put your way. Collecting all twenty three in the active state resulted in a whopping 60,000 bonus points. Wahey!
Either way - once all the bombs on screen had been collected, you moved on to the next screen. Every so often a disk bearing the letter P arrived onscreen (A powerup which was familiar to all Commodore gamers) - collecting this immobilised the enemies and turned them into stationary smiling faces (for a few seconds - Pac Man style)which could be collected for yet more points. Wahey again!
An E disk added an extra life, while a B disk added points and increased the value of any subsequent bombs collected.
Once you had visited all of the screens and in true arcade game tradition, you were whisked back to the beginning - with the platform layout altered and the nasties even nastier.
I have to say that I enjoyed this arcade game and loved the ZX Spectrum version, but the version we got for the good old Amiga was a little flat.
It was still playable enough and captured some of the spirit of the original arcade game - but it just wasn't as good as it should have been.
With a little more effort this would have been the definitive home version of the arcade game, but it turned out to be just another 'decent conversion'. A real opportunity missed.
Still, give this old Commodore Amiga game a go, it certainly has a level of retro charm.
We recommend getting hold of the real Amiga hardware - but if not then download an Amiga emulator and download Bombjack. Alternatively you could try and play it online.
Please see our other Amiga retro game reviews - all links are listed in alphabetical order. Cheers guys.
GENRE: Arcade game
RELEASE DATE: 1989
RELEASED BY: Elite
DEVELOPER(S): Paradox Software
PRICE: £25.99 (UK)
Not quite a classic Amiga Game:
Classic Games and Amiga Games