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Jersey GTL

Inspired by the MTV drivel that is Jersey Shore, Jersey GTL has you assume control of a ‘guido’, hitting up the shore for some tanning, laundry washing, gold chain collecting, pizza eating, bitch pleasing action.

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The lack of subtlety or satire in the use of stereotypes and slang is a neglected opportunity, while the game itself is exceedingly basic. Using a rudimentary retro theme, you move the orange skinned fellow with up and down controls. Automatically marching forward, the purpose of Jersey GTL is to accrue as many points as possible without touching another male, becoming pale or waltzing face first into a shop wall.

Cruising along the shore front, your fake tan will gradually begin to fade, reverting back to its white origin. To become pale skinned equals instant failure, so you have to top up in tanning shops whenever you can. These stores appear at random, which often means you’ll automatically lose – the game never presenting a tanning salon and time ultimately running out.

Tanning isn’t the only imperative thing here; there are weights to be lifted too. These girls just can’t keep their hands off of your bulging orange biceps. By slipping into a passing gym you’ll power-up and become a ‘juice head’. Now you’re able to punch aside any other alpha male on the Jersey shore, achieving points for doing so, serving to wow more STD-ridden girls on your Friday night out, as you plough through everyone on screen without a care in the world.

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There is one character that you’ll lose points for touching when ‘juiced’ up, although it isn’t apparent why. It could be an overweight, light skinned girl, but the lack of clarity in the 8-bit visuals leaves it to the imagination. There’s also a launderette were you can keep you clothes fresh and ironed to perfection, providing additional points and changing the colour of the ‘guido’s attire.

As you garner a higher score, the speed increases as you swagger down the coastline, day slowly turning to night. Collecting gold chains, drinking bottles of beer and eating pizza all endow this weight-pumping Italian-American with supplementary bonus points; stereotypes abound.

The sound effects for collecting items and powering up are stolen from early Mario titles, with the game over sound effect taken from Paradroid 90. The use of sound to pluck on the memories of older titles is a trick that works in crafting an authentic retro experience. The controls are adequate too, although the touch squares should be a little larger.

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While the effects are stolen, the main theme is painfully catchy. A mix of electronic grime and beats, the looped theme will soon drill a cavity into your cranium, filling it in with the resonance of Jersey GTL. It works in the same way as pop music – a few bars of melody consistently repeated until you can’t help but hum along, whether you despise it or not.

Being that I’m not American, nor have any interest in the MTV programme referenced, the world of Jersey GTL has no relevance to me. With the imbalance in what stores appear and when, the game is a re-run of the same trip down the shore front, dodging and collecting points, and so on. However, like the theme music, there is something addictive in its stripped down approach.

Review based on version 1.0

5 out of 10

The author of this fine article

is the Deputy Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in December 2010. Get in touch on Twitter @shaneryantb.

Gentle persuasion

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