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Colecovision Reviews J-K

James Bond 007
Grade: D-
Publisher: Parker Bros. (1984)
Posted: 2007/2/7

screenshotUnimaginative, poorly programmed, and devoid of fun, James Bond 007 takes a perfectly good movie license and flushes it directly down the toilet. The game's cheesy intro depicts James Bond waving effeminately before squeezing into his tiny "amphibious vehicle". The game plays like a third-rate Moon Patrol, as you jump over pits and dive underwater while firing missiles and dropping bombs.

The stages are loosely based on four old Bond flicks, but you'd never know unless I told you. For the record, the films are Diamonds Are Forever, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, and For Your Eyes Only. The stages do look different, but they all play the same and none are particularly enjoyable. 007's heinous graphics feature ugly color schemes and constantly flashing skylines. I hate how the blue diamonds in the sky don't even disappear when you shoot them (hey, maybe they really are forever!).

James Bond 007 is not a pretty sight, but remarkably, this version holds a slight edge over its pathetic Atari 5200 counterpart. The controls are better, the difficulty is lower, and you can actually shoot the satellites that attack from overhead. But make no mistake; James Bond 007 is still unadulterated crap. © Copyright 2007 The Video Game Critic.

Recommended variation: easy
Our high score: 16150
1 player 

Jeepers Creepers
Grade: C
Publisher: Atari Age (2016)
Posted: 2017/1/14

screenshotI wish I had picked this up in October because Jeepers Creepers has so many fun Halloween elements. Its vibrant title screen depicts a Frankenstein monster, a ghost, and a skeleton climbing out of a grave. The intro music has a moody, organ-like quality. The game itself may surprise you. This is a rapid-fire shooter - not something you'd expect to see on the Colecovision. You control a guy out to save his girlfriend from a haunted castle, moving side-to-side blasting waves of oncoming creeps.

In the first stage you strafe shambling skeletons in a graveyard and in the second you blast ghosts emerging from coffins. The ghosts tend to disappear as they move down the screen but fortunately you can still destroy them in their invisible state. The third stage pits you against waves of green Frankenstein monsters. I love the game's sense of foreshadowing as the castle gradually looms larger and larger in the distance.

When a creature reaches the bottom of the screen it briefly turns into a skull before draining a point of your life. You begin with 50 points so you can afford to let a lot of them pass. Especially in arcade mode it feels like a war of attrition as you're turning back hundreds of creeps. Shooting down a passing bat recovers some life and that becomes a big deal later in the game. Upon losing your final life the game concludes with a shriek and diabolical laugh. I love it!

Jeepers Creepers has a lot of nifty details but its gameplay is taxing. Each button throws with a different hand so you naturally want to hold in both for maximum firepower. The problem is, after a few minutes your wrist will hurt like hell. My friend Scott said his hand ached so bad he had to call in sick to work the next day! He swore up and down next time he was bringing a vice grip. Okay, so it's not as fun as it looks, but for a little Halloween hijinks Jeepers Creepers is probably worth the pain. © Copyright 2017 The Video Game Critic.

Recommended variation: arcade
Our high score: 8,490
1 player 

Jumpman Junior
Grade: A
Publisher: Epyx (1984)
Posted: 2002/7/6

screenshotIt never gained the notoriety of Donkey Kong, but anyone who had Jumpman Junior on their computer in the early 80's would swear that it's a better game. This Colecovision edition is outstanding. The main character is small, but nicely animated, and his size allows for some colossal platform configurations. The idea is to climb ropes and ladders to collect small circles (bombs) scattered strategically over varying platforms.

Unlike Donkey Kong, there are a LOT of screens - 12 in all! Each provides unique challenges such as spontaneously combusting flames, bouncing rocks, and guided bullets. There are numerous ways to complete each screen. The controls are responsive and mercifully forgiving, so you can't blame the game when you screw up. Little details add to the fun; for example, when your man falls or takes a hit he'll tumble down the entire structure, and occasionally you'll get lucky and he'll fall right onto the last circle, clearing the screen. It just doesn't get any better than that.

Jumpman Junior is one of the few titles that let you set the game speed (from 1-8) and I recommend setting 3. Another nice feature is the excellent harmonized music - these catchy tunes brought back some serious memories! Jumpman Junior is simply a blast to play, and only a sore thumb could pull me away from this. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.

Recommended variation: 3
Our high score: 6525
1 to 4 players 

Jungle Hunt
Grade: A-
Publisher: Atarisoft (1983)
Posted: 2021/8/16

screenshotThis one transports me back to 1982 when I could be found playing Jungle King over at the old Westview Mall. Perhaps due to copyright issues the name was changed to Jungle Hunt and the main character was altered from Tarzan to a snooty European explorer. With his short shorts, dress shoes, and a safari hat, this guy looks like a total dork.

The opening vine stage is more challenging than it looks. In some versions of Jungle Hunt you can blindly leap between vines and make it most of the time. Here the vines are widely spaced so you need to take your time. Make sure that next vine is swinging towards you before you commit.

The programmer did a bang-up job with this stage. I love how the vines rotate smoothly, as if the programmer actually used math! I also like how the upper reaches of the granular vines are partly obscured by tree leaves, flickering in and out of view. Even if unintentional, it looks striking.

After navigating the vines your character dives head-first into a raging river. While swimming through turbulent waters you'll want to look out for crocodiles that swim erratically. Hitting a button lets you stab them with a tiny knife, but point values don't appear on the screen, making the experience less satisfying than other versions.

Next you find yourself ascending a hill while jumping over and ducking under bright red boulders. I like how you run faster as you move toward the left side of the screen. You can jump pretty far but the stage is harder than it looks, especially when the large boulders appear.

Upon reaching the cannibal stage you find your girlfriend suspended over a boiling cauldron, guarded by a pair of green natives you must leap over. The screen may not win any awards for politically correctness but it looks pretty remarkable. During the next round a huge monkey appears on the vines. Any contact with him will cause you to fall, and he's really hard to avoid. All in all however I'd rate this version of Jungle Hunt every bit as fun as the one I remember from back in the day. © Copyright 2021 The Video Game Critic.

Recommended variation: 2
Our high score: 18,460
1 or 2 players 

Keystone Kapers
Grade: C
Publisher: Activision (1984)
Posted: 2016/1/2

screenshotChalk this one up as a missed opportunity for Activision. The concept of chasing a robber through a department store opens up all sorts of eye candy possibilities. You could imagine the store having various sections for clothing, jewelry, sporting, hardware, etc. The Colecovision would certainly have been up to the task, but Activision was too [expletive] lazy. Instead we get a less-appealing version of the original Atari 2600 game.

The store is populated with random angular shapes that look more like glitches. I can vaguely make out telephones and stools, but otherwise the scenery looks like garbage. Objects like shopping carts, airplanes, and escalators are bland and single-colored. That ugly city skyline is the absolute worst. The controls are responsive but a little touchy. You'll get used to jumping over shopping carts and radios, only to accidentally jump face-first into a toy airplane.

The policeman and striped convict look a little more detailed in this version; you can see their eyes. The cringe-worthy jingle that plays when you catch the crook sounds like something from a haunted carnival. The one saving grace is that this is Keystone Kapers, a game that delivers a challenging combination of jumping and ducking action with a dash of strategy. I found myself employing all my old tricks, like jumping onto escalators and pouncing on the crook. It's a satisfactory effort, but this Colecovision version should have been so much more. © Copyright 2016 The Video Game Critic.

Our high score: 24,550
1 or 2 players 

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Screen shots courtesy of Video Game Museum, Console Classix , Colecovision.dk, Games Database, The Dreamcast Junkyard, Moby Games