Chuck Rock: Innovative and humorous platformer of the 90s

Chuck Rock is a five level platform game split into twenty-five zones set in a jungle, caves, under the sea, in an ice world and a dinosaur’s graveyard. With arms dragging along the floor and a chin to rival Jimmy Hill’s, Chuck lives with his wife, the beautiful Ophelia, in a crumbling one-room stone cave. The opening animation sequence shows Chuck watching his low-tech TV while the news broadcaster announces the invention of the wheel and the discovery of fire. Chuck’s wife, meanwhile, is busy hanging out the washing in the back garden, using small reptile-like creatures as pegs.

Unknown to either, the dastardly Gary Gritter has fallen hopelessly in lust with Ophelia and seizes his opportunity to drag her off by the hair to his secret lair. A heart-broken Chuck, realising that something is amiss, sprints outside only to stop halfway in his tracks as he realises he’s not wearing his Y-fronts. Quickly rummaging up a pair from a nearby bush, he sets off to bring the dastardly Gritter to justice. The game proper starts with our Neanderthal hero trekking across a platform-packed jungle landscape full of prehistoric monsters, dinosaurs and other Cretacion creatures all of whom are out for his blood. To combat these, Chuck can either leap into the air and kick them, pick up a rock and throw it or hit ’em where it hurts with a powerful earth-shattering ‘belly-butt’. Chuck Rock is a big game, with each level made up of between 90-100 screens, it’s been put together with a lot of finesse and is very stylish and funny.

The joystick controls are easy to manipulate and straight-forward. The only criticism is the initial difficulty in timing Chuck’s belly butts, but that comes with practice. There’s no time limit to the game, so there’s ample opportunity to explore each level – it’s so easy to race through each section and miss a lot of the incidental humour. The in-game tune is jolly enough, but best are the atmospheric sound effects of beating African drums and the various noises emitted by each character. As usual, there are end-of-level beasties to bump off, which takes some doing, but with names like Steve the Sabre Tooth Tiger and Frank the Tricerotops it’s hard to take them seriously… until it’s too late!

news source: AF/AP/CU/AC / image source: GenerationAmiga / watch on Youtube / Download Chuck Rock Amiga, C64, Atari version

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