Sunday, February 12, 2012

Game of the Day - Aqua Jack

 Aqua Jack is a lot like Space Harrier - but in a boat on the water.  It's a 3rd person cross-hair shooter with bright, colorful graphics and action galore.

You actually have four buttons to use in Aqua Jack: shoot, jump, missile and thrust.  The thrust is to speed up when necessary to avoid certain enemies and the jump is useful since there are many mines floating around the water as you speed along.

The cross-hair is controlled with the joystick - it is not analog and therefore not a good use for a trackball.  In MAME there is an indication that there is a dial analog associated with the controls but it doesn't seem to be used (even the MAME notes say so).  The joystick is adequate, but not as smooth when whipping around as I would prefer.

No matter, though, Aqua Jack is breathtaking action from jump.  The graphics come flying at you in the form of boats, tanks, planes, choppers - and many of them are big, cool looking sprites.  In many games of this genre, the graphics can look pretty blocky as they come at you, but Aqua Jack does a good job of making everything look good as it starts small (far away) and then gets bigger (blast it, idiot!).

There's not a lot of complexity here, all that matters is how effectively they create the action and if it feels like you are in good control of your arsenal while you whiz around the sea, rivers and other waterways.  Sure enough, Aqua Jack does a good job at all of this and is worth checking out.


  1. Looks a lot like a hi-res Hydra, which is also a lot of fun (once the controls are set up properly). Thanks for doing the GOTDs, they're perfect.

  2. Absolutely stunning! Excellent use of 2D graphics. I love it.