Way back in the days just before the 8-bit consoles took over the world, one man was the hero of the gaming community. Fearless, creative, badly animated and definitely not Indiana Jones the legendary Rick Dangerous was the adventurer of the pre-Nintendo and Sega world. So looking back can the mighty Rick still cut it today?
Set across four different missions in exotic locations such as the Amazon, Egypt and Nazi Germany our hero must negotiate traps, deal with deadly natives and avoid nasty snapping dogs to achieve his goal. Each mission starts with a brief introduction then you are off into the platform adventure looking for treasure and a way out of the level.
Though the graphics are fairly basic there is still enough character and charm present to give Rick Dangerous its own unique style. Though Rick is dressed in classic adventurer clothes and equipped with the sort of hat associated with that other famous explorer - to say he is a complete copy of Dr Jones is a touch unfair, he is more of an Indiana Jones stunt double if you will.
Levels are well coloured and distinctly different from one another, a great achievement considering the limited power of the Amstrad. There is also little or no slowdown and only a touch of flickering meaning the difficulty comes from the enemies and traps rather than any noticeable technical fault. What helps give the game a real sense of personality is the little graphical touches. One example is Rick always having a smile on his face.
Gameplay wise there are a lot of things that lift the title above similar games of the time. Most notably, Rick has three different weapons to choose from. As well as a six shot pistol and several sticks of dynamite you have the use of a stick which you can use to hit natives other the head and press the odd button with. The weapons are more tactical than they first appear. One example is near the end of the Egypt level where you may think shooting all the enemies is a good idea. However, if you use up all your bullets there is no way to activate certain buttons later on, meaning you always have to try and conserve your ammunition for what may lie ahead.
Overall, Rick Dangerous is an example of a good game from years past. The only thing that really lets the game down is the insane difficulty level. Though the game has dated a little it still holds a lot of charm and is one to look back on with fond memories, anyone new to the title and put off by the difficulty may wonder what the fuss is about however.