48K Cassette
Programming & Graphics: Brian & Barry Southon
Original Design & Graphics: Colin Swinbourne
Samples: Neil Young
Textuals & Story: Simon Daniels

Producer: Richard Paul Jones

(Text from Rear of Cassette label):
Terrorists have kidnapped 6 world leaders. You, Joe Blade, their only hope, must enter Bloodfingers base, liberate the hostages, prime the explosives and make your escape.


REVIEW by Nightcrawler

Your mission, should you choose to accept it ... is to rescue six world leaders who are being held to ransom, in an unnamed Central American country, by the infamous Crax Bloodfinger. Crax and his gang of vicious terrorists are demanding thirty billion dollars in exchange for the safe release of the world leaders. But, as you can imagine, Tony Blair, George Bush etc, are hardly worth thirty billion - so in goes Joe Blade to the rescue!

Armed with only a semiautomatic machine gun and quick jumping reflexes Joe Blade must free the leaders from Bloodfinger's fortress headquarters, whilst avoiding the many guards as well as rewiring six booby trapped explosives!

The main action takes place on a sideways view of each area. New rooms can be accessed from the left or right edges of the screen, or via doors and windows at the top or bottom. The enemy guards (one or two per screen) march left and right, and touching them will deplete your health bar. You can either shoot the guards or jump over them, depending on how many there are on the screen, as it's easier to jump a single soldier than two. Most of the gang members carry guns, although they surprisingly never actually use them. However, if you shoot a guard he will return again if you later revisit the same screen.

The fortress boasts 128 nicely coloured and styled screens, which nearly all must be entered to achieve your goal of rescuing the leaders (touch them and they are rescued) and priming the explosives. To help you along the way you will find extra ammo, food, keys and enemy uniforms (which make you invulnerable but only last about six screens). The great thing about this game is that although the map remains the same all the items, bombs and world leaders are randomised at the start, creating a new challenge every time.

When it comes to the booby traps, touch these and you are faced with a new screen, which shows you the letters a, b, c, d and e, all randomly mixed up. By moving the joystick left or right, two of the five letters will be highlighted in red and pressing the joystick fire button will switch these two letters over. You have 20 seconds to place all five letters in alphabetical order, otherwise 'Game Over'.

Once all the hostages are rescued and all bombs are set you will have 20 minutes to make your way back to the 'Exit', which is located on the very first screen you started the game in.

The controls of this game are easy to master, with left and right walking movements and diagonal up for jumping, plus the fire button for firing your gun. There is no music to this game, which is fine as the decent sound effects are enough. My advice with playing this game is to make a map (or use the Atari Cave one below); otherwise you can end up quite lost. Overall if you can get over the fact that strangely the enemy guards never fire their guns, then you are in for an enjoyable game. This message will self destruct in 20 seconds...

"More than just your average Joe"


Here are the solutions for Priming the Bombs:

From E D C B A to A B C D E in Four Moves
E D C B A change 1st and 3rd to C D E B A
C D E B A change 2nd and 4th to C B E D A
C B E D A change 3rd and 5th to C B A D E
C B A D E change 1st and 3rd to A B C D E

From C A B E D to A B C D E in Seven Moves
C A B E D change 1st and 4th to E A B C D
E A B C D change 2nd and 5th to E D B C A
E D B C A change 3rd and 5th to E D A C B
E D A C B change 2nd and 4th to E C A D B
E C A D B change 1st and 3rd to A C E D B
A C E D B change 2nd and 5th to A B E D C
A B E D C change 3rd and 5th to A B C D E



- JOE BLADE (in Enemy Soldier Disguise)


(6 of these need rescuing!)
- EXPLOSIVE DEVICE (6 of these need to be defused and re-timed)

(Replenishes Joe's health bar to full)
- AMMO (Rearms Joe's gun with 20 shots)
- KEY (Used to open Locked Doors)
- SOLDIER UNIFORM (Gives Joe invulnerability for a limited time)

Other Versions/Games in the series:

Joe Blade was released by Players on many computer formats including the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad, Atari ST and Commodore Amiga. Two sequels were made, although only Joe Blade 2 was converted to the Atari 8-bit machines:

Joe Blade 2
(1988, Players)

ATARI 8-bit Screenshots
AMSTRAD Screenshots

From raiding Bloodfinger's fortress in the first game to cleaning up the streets of London for the sequel! This time Joe Blade's enemies are the lowlife punks and muggers who have turned the city into a crimezone. Along the way Joe must rescue sixteen hapless citizens and solve four number puzzle games.

Released on a number of formats including Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga, Amstrad CPC and the Acorn Electron.

Joe Blade 3
(1989, Players)

ZX SPECTRUM Screenshots
AMSTRAD Screenshots

Released only on the ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC (although instructions for a Commodore 64 version were included), this game featured the return of Crax Bloodfinger, who has been secretly building up a narcotics empire under the name Quentin Bloodfinger! Crax (Quentin) has repeated his kidnap plot from the first game, but this time his hostages are six of the worlds top music and television celebrities. Crax believes the world is more likely to pay a ransom demand for celebrities than politicians! Unluckily for Crax, Joe Blade is assigned the rescue mission! For the final instalment of Joe Blade's adventures, our hero must venture up to the top of Crax Plaza building (a la Die Hard); rescue the six hostages; capture Crax Bloodfinger and prime six explosive devices to destroy the building, before finally escaping in a helicopter on the plaza's roof.

Joe Blade 4?
In 1991 Players Premiere released PRISON RIOT for the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad and Commodore 64. The hero of the game has to enter a high security prison and quell a riot by the inmates. This is achieved by finding and negotiating with the seven ringleaders by solving a puzzle (rearranging letters to form the word 'porridge'). Although this game has many similarities to the Joe Blade games including graphic style and the subgames, it is not Joe Blade 4. Despite this, a hacked version of Prison Riot is available on the internet renamed as Joe Blade 4.

ZX SPECTRUM Screenshots


G.I. Joe - Official Hasbro Website
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