Chuck Rock


Title		Chuck Rock
Game Type	Platform
Publisher	Core Design (May 1991)
Players 	1
HD Installable	No
Compatibility	A500, Kickstart 1.3
Submission	RJP

Review
Here's another relic from that brief golden age when the Atari ST and
8-bits were fading into the sunset, consoles were but a grey cloud on the
horizon and all the best games were developed with the Amiga foremost in
mind. And dinosaurs roamed the earth.

Well, it wasn't quite that long ago, but it's the Jurassic age that forms
the backdrop to this classic, described by Amiga Power as "Super Mario
Brothers meets the Flintstones."  You guide the Neanderthal caveman Chuck
as he attempts to rescue his implausibly lovely wife from sinister
kidnapper Gary Gritter. In practice this involves negotiating a series of
dinosaur-filled platform worlds that are broken up into shortish scrolling
levels and punctuated by the occasional boss-stage.

Standard fare then, but two factors raise Chuck Rock above the mediocrity
of the crowd:

1)  The quality of the presentation. Core really did wring the most from
the A500's limited palette to create some superb cartoon graphics. The
"sprites" are large and full of character - you can't help but smile when
you see Chuck's grumpy knuckles-dragging-along-ground gait, or a
self-important looking reptile waddling up and down. The scenery is
equally attractive, featuring tropical swamps, caves etc, with amusing
touches like middens of dinosaur excrement and smashed eggs.

2)  The degree of interactivity with the surroundings. Littered about
each level are large rocks that can be picked up and used for a multitude
of purposes. You can throw them at enemies, pile them on top of each
other to reach high platforms, use them as stepping stones to cross
swamps, to shield Chuck from falling stones and in catapults that throw
him upwards. Chuck can also kill baddies with a high kick or a bizarre
wobbling motion of his ample belly. Not every creature is there to hinder
your progress; pterodactyls can be persuaded (by kicking) to lift you to
inaccessible areas, and you can hitch a ride across rivers on the backs of
friendly monsters. This variety of actions gives Chuck Rock depth and
foreshadows the trend towards total freedom seen in modern games.

Criticisms?  Innovative as the gameplay is, it gets a little repetitive
after a while (a charge than can be levelled at most platformers), and the
design of the later levels is noticeably less inspired than at the
beginning. All the same, damn good fun for half an hour or so.

NB. Chuck Rock can now be *legally* downloaded in ADF format from
www.back2roots.org






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