Another Sunday means another episode of 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die, the (hopefully) weekly series where I play through all of the games listed in the book - 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die. If I played the game before, then I will share my memory of the experience. If I haven't played the game before, then I find an online version or an emulator and I play the game (for at least 30 minutes). This is a book every gamer should have in their library, and if you're interested in purchasing it, you can find it here.

You may recall (but probably not) last week I got to play Crystal Castles, an odd sort of game kind of like a mashup between Pac Man and Q-Bert. It wasn't a game I had played before (or heard of) so I found a place to play it online. It was an interesting game I actually found to be somewhat enjoyable, given its age and the limitations of games from back then (I'm not necessarily suggesting you run out and try it though). I played it and marked it off my list, so I'm ready to see what this week has to offer. Doesn't look like it's something I've played before.


Jet Pac is a ZX Spectrum, VIC-20 and BBC Micro video game developed and released by Ultimate Play The Game in 1983. The game is the first in the Jetman series, and was the company's very first release. The game was written by Chris Stamper with graphics by Tim Stamper. Jetpac was one of the very few Spectrum games also available in ROM format for use with the Interface 2, allowing "instantaneous" loading of the game when the normal method of cassette loading could take several minutes.

In the game, Jetman has to first assemble his rocket (which comes in kit form), and then fill it with fuel before taking off to the next planet (where the procedure is broadly repeated). Along the way Jetman has to defend himself from the planet's aliens, and for bonus points collect valuable resources which occasionally fall from the sky.

After the first level, the rocket stays assembled and just requires refueling. However, every five levels, the rocket is changed and the replacement has to be built before it can be fuelled for take off. Each new model has a new design with a higher number written on it, although the gameplay is unchanged. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)

(A compelling story?)

How old is this game? Well...under distribution it says cassette (some of us remember those days) and it was originally released on the ZX Spectrum and the VIC-20. I'm sure you've played on those before, right? Let's see if I can even find a place to play this game. Fingers crossed.

Ah, easy peasy. You can find a web-browser version here.

(Dodge the colored fireballs and put the pieces of the ship together.)

A funny and only slight embarrassing story. The game was in the middle of loading and apparently the website had an advertisement page open up minimized. Well it was for a newer game and had an audio track playing. I didn't know this at the time and I was thinking, "Wow, this Jetpac has an amazing soundtrack for such an old game."


The game is basic. This is obvious. But it is amazing how brutal it can be for such a basic game. You try to build your rocket, fill it with fuel and then take another level to do it all again. I normally play a game for at least 30 minutes to call it a done deal, but this game...this game I kept playing until I at least built the rocket and made it to...Level 2. Woo Hoo. It took me a while, but I finally did it. I made it to Level 2. Achievement unlocked. It reminded me a lot of the old arcade game - Joust.

(Woo Hoo! Level 2 Baby!)

There aren't a lot of pop culture trivia or Easter Eggs associated with this game, but there is one that is kind of cool. And not one I remember even though I played the game that features it.

Apparently the people that built this game went on to form a little ole studio called Rare, that I know you've heard of.

Rare Ltd. is a British video game developer located in Twycross, Leicestershire, England. The company was established in 1985 by Ultimate Play the Game founders Tim and Chris Stamper. During its early years, Rare primarily concentrated on Nintendo Entertainment System games, creating successful titles such as Wizards & Warriors, Battletoads, and R.C. Pro-Am. Rare became a second-party developer for Nintendo in 1994. They achieved critical acclaim and commercial success with their subsequent releases, which included Donkey Kong Country, Killer Instinct, GoldenEye 007, Banjo-Kazooie, Perfect Dark, Conker's Bad Fur Day, and Star Fox Adventures.

In Donkey Kong 64 you can unlock a version of Jetpac in Cranky Kong's lab. And if you get 5,000 points you are rewarded with a Rareware Coin. I almost want to play the game again to check this out as I honestly don't remember it even though I've played Donkey Kong 64 several times. I remember the Donkey Kong game, but not Jetpac.

Anyway..I played the game. Even made it to Level 2. Good enough for me. It has been marked off of the list. I'm not sure what game is up next week, so be sure to check back and see if it is something you've played or not. Until then, enjoy the rest of your weekend and have a great week.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend - and to all the Moms out there...Happy Mother's Day.


Previous Episodes:

Episode 1: 01 - 05 (here)

Episode 2: 06 - 10 (here)

Episode 3: 11 - 15 (here)

Episode 4: 16 - 20 (here)

Episode 5: 21 - 25 (here)

Episode 6: 26 - 30 (here)

Episode 7: 31 - 35 (here)

Episode 8: 36 - 40 (here)

Episode 41 (here)

Episode 42 (here)

Episode 43 (here)

Episode 44 (here)

Episode 45 (here)

Episode 46 (here)

Episode 47 (here)

Episode 48 (here)

Episode 49 (here)

Episode 50 (here)

Episode 51 (here)

Episode 52 (here)

Episode 53 (here)

Episode 54 (here)

Episode 55 (here)

Episode 56 (here)

Episode 57 (here)

Episode 58 (here)