Professional explorer and adventurer Richard "Rick" Dangerous (who I believe isn't the Richard Dangerous related to Lady Adrian Dangerous) is close to a quarter of a century old these days even though he looks more mature with that fancy hat and the bullwhip. But back in 2009 when he'd barely turned twenty, Amstrad CPC developers Fano, BDC-Iron and MacDeath decided to get together and revisit his original outing on Sir Alan's hardware, revamping it to take advantage of the extra graphical capabilities of the CPC Plus line and 128K of memory.
Their extended mix features improved graphics that utilise the larger palette of the CPC Plus and bolts in conversions of the game's soundtrack which were taken from the Atari ST; Rick's trademark "whaaa" sample, which is played as he plummets out of the screen after death, has also been incorporated as have the cut scenes between stages. More importantly than these cosmetic details though are the extra screens which had been omitted from the 1989 Amstrad CPC release due to memory constraints, the extra memory available has meant these could be slotted neatly back into the game map.
WE CALLED THE DOG INDIANA
This is still the same old Rick Dangerous behind all those extras of course, with Rick's adventures in 1945 seeing him travel from deep within the Amazon jungle to an Egyptian pyramid and then onwards to Schwarzendumpf castle in Germany. In each environment our hero has a very limited supply of bullets for his gun and a similarly small stock dynamite, both of which can be used against the enemies he's enraged by encroaching on their territory. Rick will need to be on his toes too, because the places he visits are, along with untold riches just there for the taking, peppered with lethal traps, many of which are almost completely concealed up until when they're triggered.
As with the original game and the previous Amstrad CPC iteration, this version of Rick Dangerous suffers from the issues present in the original; players are still expected to memorise the safe path through each screen whilst avoiding, shooting or blowing up the locals, making daring leaps of faith that usually end in disaster (or more likely a sadistically placed spike pit) and avoiding the devious spike traps that are a constant threat to Rick's health and, depending on positioning, presumably masculinity as well. It might sound as though I'm overstating things to the uninitiated, but this game has always had a huge amount of painful trial and error to it, with a significant emphasis on the latter.
For the fans of Core Design's original game or indeed any masochists who may be reading (and the odds are that anybody in one camp will fit snugly into the other), Rick Dangerous 128+ is a good addition to their game collection - less hardcore gamers will probably want to approach it more cautiously, as though it were a spring-loaded spike pit.