Most gamers today know Rare as a company that came to prominence on the Nintendo 64 - GoldenEye 007, Banjo Kazooie, Donkey Kong 64 and so on. The older ones might remember them as a prominent NES and SNES developer - Donkey Kong Country, R.C. Pro-Am and the like. But the company has been around a lot longer than that. Their first real hit was Jetpac - an arcade-style game released for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum in 1983.
With this Live Arcade release, you get not only the original Jetpac, complete with primitive graphics and sound, but also a revamped version with completely new graphics, sound and levels. It's a bit like the treatment Bizarre Creations gave the seminal Geometry Wars Evolved. Not a bad deal for 400 Microsoft Points.
The premise is simple. You float around the screen on your jetpack, grappling and collecting various power-ups and items. Build your rocket and fuel it with six random cells to move on to the next level. Of course, each area is overrun with various, nasty aliens whose only goal in life is to keep jetpack-wearing humans from escaping their single-screened planet.
The game is easy to pick up and fairly addictive in short bursts. The gameplay is rather shallow, but the frenetic pace makes for a good challenge and some very exciting moments. And with over 100 levels in the Refuelled side of the package, the game will definitely last you a while.
Even if you get through every level in the original and remade games, Jetpac Refuelled also comes with an online mode. While the options are limited - it's basically a score attack over multiple levels - it ran flawlessly during each and every one of our play tests. Plus, if you want every Achievement, you'll need to play online until you find someone who's "infected."