Booty

Yo, ho, ho and a barrel of fun.

As a child of the seventies it is difficult to talk about pirates without slipping into jokes about Sea-man Stains and Master Bates. Well ahoy there mateys there will be none of that plagiaristic nonsense here!

Being the first platformer to be released on Telecomsoft's budget Firebird label, many game players would have forgiven Booty for being a run of the mill collect-em-up. A surprise therefore awaited all budding swashbucklers as they were rewarded with a well thought out puzzle-platformer that was well worth 199 doubloons (err, I mean pence) of anyone's swag.

Not only is the game as polished as the finest golden goblet with its lovely animated title screen and big colourful graphics, it also proves as devious as Blue Beard himself with the player becoming involved in an epic adventure, guiding Cabin-boy Jim through twenty of Black Galleon's dark and dingy holds. The eventual exit is reached by collecting numbered keys that open corresponding doors; with plenty of loot to be collected on the way for bounty points.

A pirate's life is a tough one though and no-one should expect to complete such a voyage of plunderous wonder without a little suffering. The worst punishment that those salty sea dogs at Firebird could come up with is the looping six second rendition of the sea shanty 'Barnacle Bill' (aka the theme to Blue Peter). This may not sound too torturous in these times of emulation and volume control, but spare a thought for our forefathers who were forced to endure the pain of ye olde 48k's internal speaker.

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A bullion bonus awaited those pirates who owned a Currah Speech Synthesiser. With this little gadget plugged in, Booty changes into a totally new game involving swimming in the sea in a wetsuit, collecting small fish and avoiding all the marine life.

In a time when Manic Miner had kick started platform overload, Booty shone like a rising sun rippling on the sea and even now, under cobwebs and a few layers of dust its quality still glimmers.

8 /10

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Sir Clive

Sir Clive

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