Jet Paco – Homebrew Game Review

Games like: JetPac

Download Jet Paco here!

Time played: 1 hr

TL;DR

The Mojon Twins have started their New Year off right with a remake of their popular ZX Spectrum title from 2013 to the NES complete with awesome chip tunes and the 8-bit graphics we’ve all come to love. Jet Paco has been created to run on an emulator or, if you happen to have the legendary Power Pak, you can run this on original Nintendo Entertainment System hardware. Oh, that sweet, sweet hardware.

Hyper Special Space Agent!

Hyper Special Space Agent!

You play as Paco Rebollez, famed astronaut leading the find and collection of a precious material used to power spaceships: energonia crystals. After many months of searching, Paco has discovered an abandoned ship harvesting as many as 20 of these crystals. This type of haul could give Paco his chance at retirement and knowing the perils that were facing him, he dawns his spacesuit complete with thermonuclear cell located in the buttocks (yes, that’s what I said) giving Paco the ability to control his rise and fall in zero gravity.

What the hell are you suppose to be?

What the hell are you suppose to be?

In Jet Paco, you have no weapons; no way to defend yourself. There’s danger all around and avoiding them is the only way to make it to the end. Other than using the directional pad to move Paco back and forth, the B button is used to thrust Paco into the air. Letting go of the button will naturally let you fall. The game is designed so that the rise and fall movement are at the same rate of speed. This key will aid you staying alive. Because the level design gets a little crazy.

You collect 20 crystals that are spread throughout the level all the while avoiding danger.

You collect 20 crystals that are spread throughout the level all the while avoiding danger.

In Mission “A”, Paco runs around collecting crystals and avoiding floating eyeballs, fast moving green monsters, slow moving blue monsters, and what can only be described as a funnel with a ribbon attached to it. No boss battles or checkpoints. There are 20 crystals to collect and you can take 10 hits before perma-death pushing you back to the start menu. There are a random set of extra hits you can pick up in the shape of Paco that blend in with the background that’s way too easy to miss.

Different branching paths will have you  retracing your steps.

Different branching paths will have you retracing your steps.

There were be many rooms that you’ll have to revisit due to branching paths. There is a single method to map out your adventure, but playing through for the first couple of times will have you second guessing yourself having you to go back again until you can get your route down. After you’ve found the right path to go, the game becomes fairly easy and simple. That’s where Mission “B” comes into play.

Mission B takes the level design to a whole new level of hard.

Mission B takes the level design to a whole new level of hard.

Enter Sargent Helmet, a newly added mission from its ZX Spectrum cousin for, as the Mojon Twins explains, only genuine gamers. Could be a mistranslation from Google since the website appears to be in Afrikaans. Google could also be lying to me. This mission ramps up the difficulty to a nice step for those that have worn out Mission “A”. The mechanics are all the same but the level design has been altered and the enemies have been made more cruel. Instead of weird floating eyeballs and moving monsters now we have ghosts, what appears to be a severed bird’s head, and zombie-like evil bear. You’ll take more cheap hits moving room to room due to environmental hazards unless you know how the room is designed to avoid danger. It is a nice addition.

You look like me! Wait... am I dead?

You look like me! Wait… am I dead?

Jet Paco is an extremely fun game. I enjoyed how Paco moved about the screen with his farting spacesuit because it feels so close to the original JetPac for the ZX Spectrum. No one loves collecting things in video games more than I do and the first handful of times running through gives you a nice experience of exploration. But once that’s done, the game is easy to complete and makes we wonder how well I could speed run it.

No banana indeed.

No banana indeed.

Jet Paco is a fun homebrew game that not only requires emulation to play, but can also be viewed on true NES hardware. Packed with a spacesuit to control the rising and falling of space cadet Paco, you’ll need to collect 20 crystals to fuel your spaceship home. Large tones and gameplay mechanics from JetPac make their way into this exploration adventure game. Albeit short, it is a nice ride into the retro days of gaming.

Download Jet Paco here!

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