The Game: You’re the circuit maker, and they’re the circuit breakers. You hop around a maze-like structure, dropping circuitry patterns in your wake, as a variety of adversaries try to stop you from completing a circuit leading from the power source at your starting point to the receptacle across the maze from you. Colliding with any of them will cost you a life, but you can entice them to try to chase you off the maze and into oblivion while you escape safely. Completing the circuit advances you to the next maze – just on’t get too caught up in your power trip. (Tronix, 1983)
Memories: A neat combination of some well-worn game play elements, Juice is an eminently playable example of taking elements from different games and combining them into a new one. Bits of Pac-Man and Q*Bert, with a hint of Zaxxon‘s 3-D isometric perspective, combine to make Juice! unique and fun.
The edition released for the Atari 8-bit computers is just about flawless (Juice! was also released for the C64, and it was by no means a slouch there either). Once you get used to it, the game’s control is very smooth, and the graphics look even better than this platform’s port of Q*Bert itself. Free of the constraints of having to resemble a specific arcade game visually, Juice! has its own distinct look.
Juice! is a refreshing jolt of familiar elements and an original theme, all rolled into one. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that it’s as fun as any of its “inspirations”.