Lazy Jones

by Simon Cobb
Terminal Software
Crash Issue 14, Mar 1985   page(s) 12

Producer: Terminal
Memory Required: 48K
Retail Price: £6.95
Language: Machine code
Author: Simon Cobb

Lazy Jones is a character who works in an hotel but who shirks his duties in favour of entering the eighteen different rooms to play the video games contained therein. Of the eighteen rooms, most contain games but some are broom cupboards and the like where Jones can hide from the work trolley or the ghosts of former managers who banish him from life on contact.

The rooms are arranged as six on each of three floors, three either side of the central lift. Lazy can jump over obstacles and by pressing fire when in front of the lift doors enter them to change floors, selecting up or down at will. Pressing fire in front of a room door takes him into the room. The scene cuts to the room interior with a large TV set bearing the legend GET READY. An animated Lazy is seen to walk across to the set and stand by the ready joystick. A game then appears on the TV set which is controlled by the main game controls. The video games are all variations on the theme of popular arcades, a Space Invaders, a 'Chuckie Egg' variant, a Defender type, a Frogger type, a Breakout type and many others. Lazy is only allowed to go into a room once until all have been visited. Subsequent visits will reveal that the game has progressed a level of difficulty. Each game has a falling time limit and a score line.


Control keys: Q/A up/down, O/P left/right, M to fire
Joystick: Kempston
Keyboard play: responsive
Use of colour: good and varied
Graphics: good, smooth and well animated
Sound: not a lot
Skill levels: progressive difficulty
Lives: selectable between 1 and 9
Screens: 19

It's about time Terminal brought out a decent game, all their previous Spectrum games have been a load of rubbish. To say the least, this one is different. I wasn't quite sure what I was meant to do at first until I opened a door and in I stepped. The door slammed behind me and a TV appeared. I walked over to my joystick and I started playing the first of many games, not original games, Oh no, that's too easy, but arcade mini-copies. I suppose you could call this Terminal Software strikes back Part One. It seems as though Terminal has looked at most of the fun games on the market and seem to have put them all into one program, although somewhat simplified. Wow, you might say, if I buy this tape I won't have to buy any other tapes, but that isn't really the case. Although Lazy Jones does contain many games, it does lack a bit in content since the fun is really contained in the games within the game rather than in the main game itself. The graphics in this game are all very nicely made up, smooth and well animated, and on the whole, fairly big. I especially like the way 'you' have a long nose, somewhat like Piman, and you walk in a lovely manner. The games that you find in the rooms are quite accurate copies of the games they imitate, they are snappy, to the point and quite playable in themselves, although one or two are boring and take a long time to get through. Graphically, then, the game is quite pleasing to play although I don't think it will be terribly addictive in the long run.

Games compendiums tend to suffer from having to cram too much into too little space to do justice to each game. To come across the Space Invaders in the Video Games room of Pyjamarama was a thrill and amusing. In Lazy Jones the whole game is a series of Video Games rooms, but unlike Pyjamarama, Lazy Jones has no real game content around the rooms beyond avoiding the various obstacles - you tend to get killed through bad luck rather than a lack of skill. However, the individual arcade copies are really quite good (with a few boring exceptions), and the detail in them remarkably good. The result is a game which is a lot of fun to play until you have played all the arcadelets, after which it gets thinner and thinner, thus lacking long lasting appeal.

Lazy Jones is a sort of compilation of all the old sort of Spectrum games all put together to make one game. But to be honest the game content is a bit lacking. I don't think this game is going to be a great hit because it has very limited appeal, you only want to find out what's in each room and that's it. Overall, quite a good game which might appeal to people like Space Invaders, Froggers etc etc.

Use of Computer: 55%
Graphics: 79%
Playability: 76%
Getting Started: 72%
Addictive Qualities: 51%
Value for Money: 45%
Overall: 63%

Summary: General Rating: A novel way of presenting a games compendium, but an average game in itself which would prove to be of good value to younger players.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 37, Apr 1985   page(s) 24

Terminal Software
Memory: 48K
Price: £6.95
Joystick: Kempston

The rationale behind Lazy Jones has you as the laziest hotel cleaner in the business, avoiding managers and lethal cleaning carts by nipping in and out of the 18 bedrooms.

But you can forget about all that, because the real rationale of this game is merely to string together as many feeble versions of ancient arcade games as the Spectrum memory will tolerate. Behind most of those bedroom doors lurks a screen and joystick, and the next thing you know is that you're playing one of the many arcade games which you hoped never to clap eyes on again.

There are shoot-em-up games, platform games, centipede games - you name it, Lazy Jones has to play it. After a while you are preferring death from the hotel manager to another bout of 'Res Q' or '99 Red Balloons'.

The graphics are adequate and, to be fair, the game has a certain novelty going for it, albeit short-lived. What really frightens is that in the not-too-distant future, Terminal Software might be encouraged to launch Lazy Jones II in which one of the many computer games played in those hotel rooms is Lazy Jones I in its entirety.

This series could run and run.


Gilbert Factor: 4/10

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair Programs Issue 28, Feb 1985   page(s) 14

PRICE: £6.95

Where do old arcade games go to die? The answer is that they retire to Lazy Jones where they shrivel away to nothing and lose any charm that they ever possessed.

Lazy Jones is the eponymous hero of this game, and he finds himself in a three storey building full of doors, with lethal characters running up and down each floor, and slow-moving lifts connecting the storeys. The corridors, though, are an incidental part of the game. Behind the doors, always providing that you do not accidentally visit the broom cupboard or the toilet, are miniature versions of all the old favourite arcade games.

Space invaders, Frogger and Breakout can all be played on a miniature screen, against the clock, with no high score option, very limited sound and graphics and no replay option. If these games were not dying before, Lazy Jones kills them quickly and efficiently. By the time the third room is reached you will be keeping your finger on the fire button while you stare out of the window.

Given the nature of the program, it seems scarcely surprising that it is manufactured by a firm called Terminal Software, Derby House, Derby Street, Bury.

Rating: 15%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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