Return of the Jedi logo

ALL is not well in Endor. Those imperial stormtroopers are harassing the populace, the "aww"-inspiring, oh-so-cute Ewoks. Although the most marketable thing to come out of Lucasfilm, they ar right violent little beggars if you happen to be a stormtrooper.

Leia and Luke are a bit cut off in the forests of Endor - sounds painful - and have to run the gauntlet of stormtroopers on Speederbikes (TM, et al). Once character doesn't get a Luke in (Bad joke - Ed) (Irresistible - SCR) - so Leia is controlled by your mouse or joystick. The whole bit is like Spy Hunter with a Zaxxon perspective, plus added trees and Ewok traps.

Stormtroopers can cease to be stormtroopers in several interesting ways. They can be shot, they can collide with you or with bits of tree, or they can be trapped by the Eworks. Ouch.

It's all nice and fast and jolly, with a kitschy little end sequence, which I won't spoil for you. Like all the Star Wars games, the first level is ridiculously easy; the option to start at different levels is welcome.
The second bit has Lando Calrissian - any relation of Lando Myfathers? - piloting the Millennium Falcon down the reactor tube of the Death Star. Using the same perspective as the forest bit, it is basically a question of avoiding sticky-out bits and the annoying little Tie fighter bits. Shoot the reactor and get the rude word out of there, otherwise it's crispy fried Calrissian time.

Now you are Chewbacca at the controls of the scout walker, trying to run the gamut of logs and rocks on your way to the bunker. Since walkers are big, you have no way of telling the good people of Endor that it's only you and could you please tone down the violence a tad.

Moving logs can be shot, but the big piles of them have to be strolled around. Stroll is the word - the rather spindly walker moves as if it had bad feet. Not to worry, it gets you to the bunker, which gets blown up as soon as you arrive. Friends, who needs 'em?

Interspersed with Chewbacca's mechanical promenade is a split wave with Lando flying towards the Death Star. Just when you get to a quiet bit in the walker, you flick to Lando, get blasted virtually instantly and return to Chewbacca.
It's meant to heighten the tension, but all it does is lose lives. That may make sense for Mr Arcade Owner, but not really in the home.
Big admission time: I haven't seen the film. So to destroy the Death Star and then suddenly want to fly towards it seems a little bizarre to me.

Everything is carried out the way you'd expect on an Amiga - sampled speech from the film, pretty graphics... switch off the brain and be prepared for some unsophisticated violent enjoyment. But, if you've got one, you'll have to remove your A501 first.

Return of the Jedi is grand while it lasts, but since it's a little superfish (as in superfishful, not as in halibut) that may not be forever.

Return of the Jedi logo

Price: £ 9.95 cass £12.95 disk

Return of the Jedi was the third of the Star Wars trilogy and is also the third in a successful series of Atari coin-ops. Once again it takes its action very much from the film.

It consists of three Zaxxon-like screens, each portraying a bit of the attack on the Death Star. The first has Leia riding a speeder bike through the forest of Endor, home of the cuddly Ewoks. Along the way she encounters lots of different obstacles. The most dangerous are the scouts. These also ride speeders, and attempt to get behind Leia and shoot her. Trees are also a hazard. Careful manoeuvring is needed to ensure you don't fly into one of these.

Along the way, the Ewoks will try to help you by laying traps. These normally consist of two Ewoks holding a piece of rope. When two bikes fly through, they spring the trap on the second bike, so you have to try and get there first. Once you've managed to get through that bit, it's down to Chewie.

As Chewbacca, you have to drive an AT-ST (All Terrain Scout Transport) to the shield control bunker on Endor. The cute but thick Ewoks, thinking you are the enemy, roll logs down to stop you. Enemy AT Sts, being marginally more intelligent, know you are an enemy, and fire at you. Make it to the bunker, and Han will jump out and blow the door effectively destroying the shield around the semi-complete Death Start, allowing Lando to get in there and blow the reactor.

Lando has to steer the Millenium Falcon through the maze of pipes and walls on his way to the reactor. Once he's there, he has to shoot it making the Death Star explode.

As conversions go, Return of the Jedi is pretty close. The graphics and feel are reminiscent of the original, but it's still not much of a game.

The controls are pretty sloppy, and the firing rate is painfully slow. The main problem with the playability is that you can move too far forward and not far enough back. It's all too easy to hit a tree that hasn't appeared on screen yet.

The first two games fared averagely on the 64 because they were vector graphics only, and the 64 isn't very well equipped insofar as vectors are concerned. This one will fail because it isn't much fun.