Joe Blade

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Joe Blade is the title of a series of budget-price platform games written by Colin Swinbourne and published by Players.

All three titles were flick-screen adventures, in which the player controls the titular character through a number of rooms, dispatching enemies and rescuing innocent people. The manner of this varies between the three games.

Joe Blade
Developer(s) Colin Swinbourne
Publisher(s) Players
Platform(s) Spectrum, C64, CPC, Acorn Electron, BBC Micro, Atari 8-bit, MSX, Amiga, ST
Release date(s) 1987
Genre(s) Platform, shoot-em-up
Mode(s) Single player
Distribution Cassette tape, diskette

The first Joe Blade title portrayed Blade as a lone commando sent into an evil mastermind's complex to release a number of diplomats. It was one of the earliest video games to be placed on the Index in Germany due to accusations that it "glorified" war and that the villains resembled SS troopers. While the game was still legally obtainable, it effectively banned the game from distribution, as technologies such as the Internet were not available at the time and German publications were not permitted to advertise the titles.

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Joe Blade 2[edit]

Joe Blade 2
Developer(s) Colin Swinbourne
Publisher(s) Players
Platform(s) Spectrum, C16, C64, CPC, Amiga, ST, Acorn Electron, BBC Micro, Atari 8-bit
Release date(s) 1988
Genre(s) Platform
Mode(s) Single player
Distribution Cassette tape, diskette

Joe Blade 2 took a rather different approach to the first game. Instead of being a soldier, Blade was this time a vigilante taking to the city to rid the streets of criminals, rescuing old-age pensioners along the way. Blade was no longer armed with a gun, and had to jump over villains, just touching them with his feet, to dispatch them. This almost surreal take on the game was in stark contrast to the comparatively more gritty realism of the first installment. The game was also known for being considerably easier than the first title, almost to the point where many players managed to complete the game in one hour-long sitting. It was the only title in the trilogy to be released for 16-bit systems (Amiga and Atari ST).

The Spectrum version of the game featured a version of Invade-a-Load featuring Pac Man.

Screenshots[edit]

Joe Blade 3[edit]

Joe Blade 3
Developer(s) Colin Swinbourne
Publisher(s) Players
Platform(s) Spectrum, CPC
Release date(s) 1989
Genre(s) Platform, shoot-em-up
Mode(s) Single player
Distribution Cassette tape

Joe Blade 3 returned to the first title's formula, arming Blade with a machine gun. Exclusively released for the ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC, it included Commodore 64 instructions in its inlay, but no Commodore 64 version was ever released.

A 1991 Players game, Prison Riot plays very similarly to the Joe Blade titles and a hacked version that identifies itself as Joe Blade 4 has been distributed on the internet.

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