Jack the Uni-Psychle
Studios, Price: $14.95 (on sale for $9.95)
Reviewed May 2003
2D side-scrolling games like Mario and
Sonic have not only earned themselves legions of fans, but
also inspired many creative game developers. The creators
of Jack the Uni-Psychle are among this proud group. The game
has a great premise which makes for a good adventure: an
ordinary guy named Jack has super psychic powers. The evil
alien, Dr. Apocalypse, has abducted him and put his brain
on a unicycle. Now, you have to help Jack defeat the evil
Doc and reunite with his body.
The repetitive side scrolling unicycle
game play is spiced up by a large number of background environments
and Jack’s jumping and psychic abilities as well as
various alien forms he encounters along the way. There are
6 long levels breaking down into 35 stages in the game. You
can save your progress once you finish a stage. You will
see some really nice backgrounds in various levels as Jack
journeys through the Fairground, Rollercoaster, City Streets,
Chemical Factory, Country Field, Meat Plant, Army Base and
Dr. Apocalypse’s Space Station.
Not only can Jack collect power ups and
gold tires, he can also use his jumping skills and psychic
power to beat the alien enemies and bosses. In each level,
Jack will encounter Imp the big-headed Green alien, a jumping
eyeball called Ispy, a green alien with tentacle dreadlocks
called Sukimon, the steel jaws chomping jumper Chummer or
the flying rocket Ramnoid and more. If he survives, Jack
gets to fight with the evil Doc and this mean machines like
the angry-face tank, bomber ship, BulletHead, Saucer and
Omega Machine. Who said riding a unicycle is a walk in the
You can control the game entirely using
the hardware buttons, though you have an on-screen Psych
attack button which you can tap with your stylus. The game
presents you with plenty of challenges, and gives you the
opportunity to save the game at the end of each stage. After
you get used to the controls and know the enemies on each
level, you can also try to beat the best time in the time
trial. Once you progress far enough into the game, you will
be treated to some cut scenes; if you can beat the game,
you will unlock the cheat codes and game-ending scenes. For
those impatient games, you can get the cheat codes including
Infinite Lives, Level Warp and Psychic Storm here.
But do try your best to beat the game on your own.
Much like the Mario and Sonic series, Jack
the Uni-Psychle adopted some very catchy background tunes
and very GBA like sound effects. The music and sound work
nicely together to create a polished audio package. Those
catchy tunes will replay themselves in your head for days
if you play the game for too long. You have options to turn
the music and sound on or off as well as adjust the volume.
Jack currently supports ARM/Xscale on the Pocket PC and the
Zaurus SL-5500 and SL-5600 on Linux.
Since the first time I saw the game
on the Zaurus, I got hooked on the simple yet addictive
game play. Its beautiful 2D graphics and fluid movement
have turned more than a couple of heads. These alien creations
stand a good chance in catching gamer’s imaginations.
The none-stop actions in a long game will attract those
with patience and quick reflexes. Just remember, when you
face the evil Doc himself, keep a cool head!
Playing Hints and Tips
OK, here are the cheat
codes! But I really mean it, give it a go and try beating
the game on your own first.