67 - Solar Jetman (NES)

Solar Jetman has something of a reputation for being an overly difficult game, which surprises me because it's one of the few games I've played above and beyond the call of duty. Even in the days where I'd spend all my free time playing games I didn't finish many, but I did finish this. I love Solar Jetman so much I even mapped the thing, which was really quite pointless.

In the vein of Gravitar and Thrust the player has to navigate a series of cavernous worlds, collecting fuel, crystals and ship parts and depositing them back at the landing craft. Jetman set out initially in a pod, which could rotate through 360 degrees, fire a weapon and tractor items back to the ship. If the pod got destroyed Jetman would be exposed and vulnerable in just his space-suit, and had to get back to his landing craft for another pod. He could still shoot in this form but couldn't take a hit.

The handling in Solar Jetman was pretty tricky and at times very frustrating - especially when carrying a particularly heavy load. You could upgrade the pods between levels though, which lent it a nice dimension that most other gravity games lacked. I was always impressed with the technical achievement of the game on the NES, and it seemed such an unlikely candidate for a console release at the time - much more thoughtful and slower-paced than most. Very welcome for a NES owner wanting a bit more to get his teeth into.

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