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AT 11,5; "JUMP OFF A CLIFF SIMULATOR"
BEEPER ABUSE: 5
CRAP FACTOR: 6
"Codemasters take notice," wrote Sinclair User back in 1988. "JUMP OFF A CLIFF SIMULATOR from Kieron Gillen of Stafford has a charming simplicity."
That's all any of us have got to go on but that didn't stop Ed Raven fleshing out these few words into a surprisingly rich crap gaming experience!
We begin with a great spoof Code Munters loading SCREEN$ and, after entering your age*, a just-about-recognisable rendition of Van Halen's Jump.
You are Jock R. Sole (or John E. Jump*) who's something of a big deal in the world of Cliff Diving which is, unbelievably, a real sport!
The goal is to launch yourself from ridiculously high platforms (cliffs, trees, towers etc,) in an elaborate manner, usually into crystal clear waters in some exotic location (or, on occasion, South Wales.)
There's also a proper points system and an international league table, however, Ed has skilfully managed to avoid implementing many of these potential gameplay elements.
You begin each 'level' standing at the top of a cliff overlooking either grass, a beach or the sea.
After a brief chance to consider why on earth you're up there in the first place, you're invited to choose your method of descent; a (D)ive, a Matrix-style (B)ackwards leap or a good old fashioned all-in (J)ump.
At this point the unusually well-animated stickman leaps off the cliff with little or no concern for his own wellbeing.
Mary Whitehouse wouldn't have been happy about a game in which you jump off a cliff in the first place, however, she would have been appalled at what happens next.
As Jock (or John) falls towards the ground there are some nice descending BEEP effects before, inevitably, he splats (or splashes) at the bottom of the screen.
Following a Mortal Kombat-beating gore fest the Emergency Services arrive to assist, however, I'd recommend anyone listening on headphones to turn down the volume quickly as they're accompanied by a downright painful racket.
Ed has implemented a clever(ish) risk-analysis routine to compensate the player appropriately depending on the type of jump and the surface onto which they, er, jumped. Be warned, however, if you continue to take the risky option you will eventually end up regretting it (and ending the game - Ed.)
After the Emergency Services have carried you off you're presented with a score (of sorts) based on the severity of your injuries, your sponsorship fees and how much of an insurance pay-out you got.
I'm not sure why Jock (or John) is being paid outside of the competition - or which company would be mad enough to insure someone who chooses to throw themselves off a cliff for a living - but, as very little about this sport (or this entry) makes sense, I'll turn a blind eye just this once.
* Under 16s are given a slightly more PG-rated version of the instructions and also miss out on some of the in-game gore.