Company: Tigervision
Model #:
John Harris
Year: 1982
Port of the Atari 8-bit game by Sierra On-Line


As everyone knows, when there's a popular game there are bound to be knock offs.  However once in a great while it turns off that the knock off is better than the original.  This is the case with Jawbreaker.  Taking the basic maze and dot gobbling formula from Pac-Man and expanding on it, Jawbreaker is a fun diversion from the numerous bad Pac-Man clones that litter the system.

If you haven't guessed by now, the object of the game is similar to that of Pac-Man; gobble up all the dots while avoiding the jawbreakers (the little smiley orbs).   However Jawbreaker adds a few twists to the regular Pac-Man formula.  In Jawbreaker there is only one 'power pellet' instead of four, but thankfully it happens to be located in the center of the screen for easy access.  Jawbreaker also has rows instead of a maze, which can make avoiding the jawbreakers a bit more difficult.  Thankfully there also happens to be moving holes on each row that allow for a quick getaway (assuming it happens to be where you need it).


Another important difference between Jawbreaker and Pac-Man is the enemy AI.  In Pac-Man the ghost monsters are fairly intelligent and chase you through a maze.  Since Jawbreaker has rows instead a maze, intelligent enemies that chase you would be a bad thing.  Therefore the jawbreakers simply drift randomly along the rows, making them easier to avoid but harder to predict.  This adds a whole new dimension to the game, along with making most strategies useless.

Although Jawbreaker is a relatively simple game, it is vastly superior to Atari's own PAC-Man  Jawbreaker has no flicker, smooth animation, and tight control (everything that PAC-Man was lacking).  Although it may not resemble its 8-bit counterpart due to the 2600's system limitations, the 2600 version Jawbreaker is an amazing game in its own right.  Creepy smiling jawbreakers and all.


Version Cart Text Description
?/??/82 Jawbreaker Final Version


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