The Jazz Jackrabbit series takes place 3,000 years into the future, where our rabbit hero is doing battle with an evil tortoise in a fight for the galaxy. Jazz Jackrabbit: Holiday Hare 1995 is a free, stand-alone Jazz game with a Christmas theme. It is the second in the series of Christmas specials, as Epic Megagames also released a free holiday version in 1994.
Five levels are featured in the game with backgrounds that include a toy land that resembles LEGO blocks and a candy theme with large gingerbread men. Some of the enemies that Jazz must battle are jack-in-the-boxes and "Energizer Bunny" knockoffs. Jazz is armed with a blaster that uses a variety of ammunition types, from fireballs to missiles, with which to eliminate anyone or thing that stands in his way.
Jazz Jackrabbit: Holiday Hare 1995 has a speedy character and can move at almost unplayable speeds on fast computers. As a result Epic has put a slow-motion option in place to keep it more playable. The game also supports keyboard controls and four-button controllers.
Played all six episodes of Jazz Jackrabbit and still can't get enough? Then play this special "Christmas" edition of Jazz. Featuring four levels with new graphics and sound, including a rap version of Little Drummer Boy.
You still have your favorite weapons: RF missiles, toasters, blasters, and launcers, but sadly, there are no bosses in the game. This game is freely downloadable on most freeware/shareware sites. Also, there are three new episodes, which are not included in the game unless you order the Jazz Jackrabbit CD-ROM.
Jazz Jackrabbit is probably one of the best jump-and-run platformer games ever made, even by today's standards. This game is the second Christmas edition of Jazz Jackrabbit. Obviously the game developers decided to give this game to the public as a Christmas present to promote the original episodes.
In this game, you control a green bunny called Jazz. Move fast, collect power ups and treasures, and shoot everything that moves. Every level has lots of hidden stuff and secret areas. Shoot the walls to see if they are destructible or just try walking through them. At the end of each level, you'll find a sign with Devan Shell's picture on it. Shoot the sign to claim the area for the rabbits and advance to the next level.
The graphics and level design of this game are very similar to those of the original Jazz Jackrabbit. The music consists of remixes of some Christmas songs. The music and sound effects are overall very good, as they usually are in Jazz Jackrabbit games. If you play the game in the winter, you'll see that the game menus are winter-themed. The game has only four levels plus one secret level - at least, I have found only one - and two different level sets. All enemies in the game are new: they are unseen in previous games.
To sum it all up, Jazz Jackrabbit: Holiday Hare 1995 is quite short - you can play it through in less than 30 minutes - and easy even on the highest difficulty setting, but it is a good game and a must-have for all who love the other games of the series. So go on and give this little gem a try.
Epic Megagames developed "Holiday Hare" versions of their popular platformers Jazz Jackrabbit and Jazz Jackrabbit 2 as freeware releases to celebrate the holidays. Each game is populated by X-mas themed levels and festive sounds, and features the same furry rabbit hero as the shareware games. The 1995 version of Holiday Hare is based on Jazz 1 engine, and features four levels with new graphics and sound, including a rap version of Little Drummer Boy. The 1998 version is based on Jazz 2 engine, and lets you play as either Jazz or his brother. There are no bosses in the game, although the zaniness of the levels more than make up for their absence - and anyone who found the shareware games too difficult will find Holiday Hare a welcome change. Highly recommended, especially for fans of the original games.
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Jazz Jackrabbit CD-ROM, Jazz Jackrabbit: Holiday Hare 1994, Jazz Jackrabbit 2: Holiday Hare, Jazz Jackrabbit 2: The Christmas Chronicles, Jazz Jackrabbit 2, Jazz Jackrabbit 2: The Secret Files, Jazz Jackrabbit, Commander Keen 6
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