|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.
to 2600 Software