Mighty Bomb Jack
- Manufacturer: Tecmo USA
- Machine: Nintendo Entertainment System
King Pamera, a peace-loving and good king, has been kidnapped by the evil demon Belzebut in an effort to turn the world into a nasty place. Jack and his brothers fight Belzebut - but to no avail. After the fight Jack finds that his brothers are dead, and he is now the only one left who can rescue King Pamera, his queen and his princess.
Mighty Bomb Jack is one of those games that, though it's a typical multilevel action adventure, manages to incorporate some original ideas that make for interesting and challenging game play.
One novel aspect of this game is Jack's vulnerability; he has no firepower, and thus, no way in which to defend himself from the many creatures that materialize from the air and attack. Rather than shooting the monsters, you must maneuver Jack around them (unless you use some Mighty Coins; we'll get to those in a minute), since the enemy's slightest touch means death.
There are hundreds of treasure chests placed throughout the game. Each chest contains an item with a special function in the game. For instance, the Sphinx opens secret doorways and Mighty Drink adds time to your timer. Collecting Mighty Coins is especially important; they will give you three levels of power. At the highest level, the creatures on the screen turn into gold coins, which you may then gather up.
Another power the Mighty Coins give you is the ability to open treasure chests simply by walking into them. The normal way to open a chest is to land on its lid and jump on it. Other items, such as Power Balls (changes creatures into gold coins), Bonus Coins (multiplies your score by a number from two to five) and Extra Coins (gives a free life), will appear as you make your way through the game.
The Power Coins are valuable because they give you extra powers. But you have to be careful not to have more than ten in your possession at any given time - otherwise, you'll be thrown into the torture room for greediness. The only way to get out of the torture mom is to jump 50 times while avoiding the creatures roaming around the room. This takes so much time that I rarely bother trying to get out. I just hit the reset button and start the game over. There's nothing wrong with limiting the player to ten Power Coins, but the torture room is a dumb idea, especially considering that, even if you do manage to escape, you still lose all the Power Coins you collected.
Another unusual feature of Mighty Bomb Jack is the way you control Jack on the screen. Once he is in the air, repeated pushing of the "A" button will cause Jack to drift in an almost horizontal path. This wide range of control makes him almost bird-like, the only limitation in his travel being that he can't stay in the air forever; gravity continually pulls him down, forcing him to jump again. This style of control takes a while to get used to, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be able to get Jack to quickly go just about anywhere on the screen.
I highly recommend Mighty Bomb Jack to all NES owners. Its original movement control, sound effects and challenging play make this a game that you will come back to often.