Kong Strikes Back ZX Spectrum
An earlier game from Ocean Software which was obviously inspired by the arcade games Kong and Mr Do's Wild Ride.
This game was released on the ZX Spectrum early in 1985 - and was a pretty good twist on the platform genre. As usual, the mighty Kong had kidnapped yet another damsel in distress and it was up to you to rescue the fair maiden. All done against the clock of course.
This time though the setting was a fairground, with Kong and the damsel perched atop a rollercoaster type structure.
Why were damsels always in distress in 80's computer games?
Anyway, just like the classic arcade game the beast would roll things towards you, in this case he would hurtle rollercoaster cars along the tracks which took one of your four lives if they hit you.
You had a limited number of bombs which could destroy a coaster-car, but could only be used when you were standing on a 'flat' section of the track. Luckily there were ladders dotted around the track which you could use to evade the oncoming cars and conserve your ammo. Timing your movements around the track was the key to success.
You had to follow the 'track' from the bottom to the top, your little character moving smoothly and following the track lines well.
If you avoided the roller-cars and made it to the top the maiden was rescued, and you were awarded bonus points for the amount of time you had left to spare. There were also bonus items to collect which boosted your score, and you could gain extra lives by racking up a lot of points.
There were four screens to play through and once you had completed the fourth you were sent back to the beginning with the difficulty increased and more nasties to contend with.
This game was a moderate hit for Ocean and was generally well recieved. Spectrum gaming magazine Crash awared it an overall score of 73% - pretty good. Fans of Kong and Mr Do enjoyed it as it was playable and the keyboard response was good - which is essential in this type of game.
The test of time:
Well this was a pretty good arcade type game on the ZX Spectrum and still plays quite well today. Your character moves very well over the rollercoaster tracks and once you get the hang of it running up and down the ladders is quite fun. If you like Kong or Mr Do then you can't go far wrong.
It also reminds me a little of Gilligan's Gold - another earlier game from Ocean I quite like.
We recommend getting hold of the real Sinclair hardware but if not then download this one for a ZX Spectrum emulator. Alternatively you could try and play it online.
Please see our other ZX Spectrum retro game reviews and programmer interviews - all links are listed in alphabetical order. Cheers guys.
GENRE: Arcade Game
RELEASE DATE: February 1985
RELEASED BY: Ocean Software
DEVELOPER(S): Jonathan Smith, Nigel Alderton, F David Thorpe PRICE: £6.90
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