Can you handle it?

Jug logo

HOW's this for discrimination? Just because you happen to be made of titanium and everyone else happens to be soft and slightly squishy, you get all the dangerous jobs. And not merely that, since you happen to be slightly portly, those offworld zeebs nicknamed you Jug. Sweet, no?

The planet Spiraeus has got a real problem - it's one of those rare living planets and the inside is being destroyed by a strange virus. This is not good, so you have to kill off the infected bits.

Like most living things, Spiraeus has a complex immune system. Since it hasn't met any titanium humanoids, it reckons you shouldn't be there. Hoards of antibody drones and fighters are after you and you've got nothing more than a weedy laser cannon to fend them off. Being a rather clever titanium humanoid you can pilfer bits of spare machinery and adapt them to your own needs. Anyone for plasma bolts and smart bombs?

The four zones in each of four sectors scroll as you crawl or fly about. Crawling does not need any fuel, but is slow and can only be used over level terrain. Flying is very fast but eats up the fuel at quite a rate.

Some areas of the planet are mildly radioactive: they won't do you any harm, but they are a little sore on the fuel. At least you can refuel when you find a none-too-frequent fuel dump.

The background graphics are smart, although they are what we should expect for this type of game. Parts of each level are decorated differently; as you near the core, the metallic gives way to the organic and the denizens become more like living creatures.

The tune is suitably heroic and well executed, but like most computer tunes it lacks direction and is utterly forgettable. The sound effects are almost totally masked by the tune. The program allows the player to mix the volume levels for each one to get the desired effects.

If a certain game called Cybernoid hadn't been written I am pretty sure we wouldn't have ever seen Jug because it would have had nothing to "inspire" it. Technically, everything seems OK - sprites bounce about and explode on cue - it's just that the pace hasn't been judged correctly. On skill level one it's too slow, on two and three it's too sharp. Everything seems tired. Jug needs a thorough relube.