Do you like platformers? And what about games that really like to punish you? If you can answer both questions with ‘Yes’, Rick Dangerous by Firebird might be right up your alley.
The year is 1945. You are Rick Dangerous, agent in the service of His Majesty and tasked to locate a lost tribe in the Amazon jungle. But, of course, something goes terribly wrong and your plane crashes right into a group of wild tribesmen. Now, the good thing is, you located the tribe you were looking for. The bad thing is, they don’t like it when strangers crash their planes right into them. Your first mission is simple: Escape the wrath of the tribe and stay alive.
Right off the start the game tries to get rid of you by unleashing a large boulder, chasing you deeper into the temple-like structure. From there on you have to find a way out, while not only avoiding those mad tribesmen, but also the numerous traps.
Screenshots (click to enlarge)
And traps there are… a lot! Take that boulder, for instance. If you don’t react quick enough, you already lose your first life merely a second into the game. And that basically sets the tone for the rest of the game, so prepare to die numerous times. To make things worse, some of those traps are hidden, requiring you to remember them, which often ends up in simple trial and error.
Rick Dangerous consists of four levels, with the story being told in between stages, which includes finding a jewel in Egypt, rescuing Allied soldiers (don’t forget, the game is set in ’45) and infiltrating a missile base. To protect yourself, you are armed with a stick that stuns enemies for a couple of seconds, and a gun with limited ammunition. Additionally, you carry some dynamite, good for blowing up obstacles. You occasionally find crates that will stock up your ammo, so you get at least some help. But don’t fool yourself, this game is frustratingly tough.
Interestingly enough, it is also quite addictive. Well, at least for the first two levels, after that you just want to throw something against the wall. And from a visual standpoint, the game looks gorgeous, and that includes some beautiful backgrounds. But the most important thing regarding tough platformers are the controls, and thankfully, they are tight and responsive.
A year after the game’s release, Rick Dangerous 2 hit the market, this time even more merciless. And if you consider this game got released in 1989, you might as well ask yourself if Rick Dangerous was indeed the father of those ‘Punishment Platformers’ that got so popular some years ago.
But regardless the fun you can have while playing this game, never forget: The frustration is strong with this one!