Sega's 1983 Hopper Robo
Your basic jump/ladders platform game. A little robot has to collect marked boxes scattered around; if done in numerical order, bonus is higher. Platforms aren't static, tough, they have sections going up and down, circling around, and there are chutes, ladders, trampolines, mechanical gears to climb... plus several nasty enemies that follow the robot and kill it on contact or by means of thrown objects. A special nuisance is the slinky, which appears in the most inappropiate moments and places. There's a time limit, also, in the form of an "energy level" countdown.

The free-form feel of the game is a nice change from the more linear, get-to-the-top-and-you're-done games. The chubby looking robot can jump, run, climb, slide, and fall from long distances. Even if you fail to collect the boxes in order you can complete the level and continue playing. And you're hardly defenseless against your foes: you can crush them with the collected boxes, fall on top of them, make them fall from seesaws. The trampolines in special are truly fun to use, you can move real fast using them. The overall graphic look of the game, with the gears rotating, clock numerals, and clunky-looking foes is very pleasing. The goofy sound effects are a plus.

Missing Ingredient
Cons: somewhat difficult control system, you'll curse a lot when instead of jumping higher on the trampoline you slide off it and end up kissing a foe due to a miscalculation. The slinky is truly a pain in the ass. You'll get the pattern of the game fast, and there are only ten different levels; difficulty increases after each loop by changing the foes' appearing order and speed. More levels would have truly made it a more interesting game (in fact the demo mode shows a level that doesn't appear in the game).

Thanks to Jeffrey Carl at ServInt for providing the space for CinemArcade


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