Sunday 5 January 2014

There's something in my eye...


!!CGC 2013 RESULTS!!

Well it's judging time I'm afraid, but before that give yourselves a big cheer for the final tally of 102 CRAP GAMES!

Damnations joke (c) RebelstarWAC :-)
In judging something so subjective as this I've let the chuntey guide me almost entirely.  If I could say before announcing the winners/losers I'd like to say a huge thanks to everyone who entered and joined in the banter on the way, it's been great fun.

OVERALL WINNER (Crappest game)
Joystick Hero by pgyuri

I'm pleased to announce you get first prize of a 75p and a packet of rolos, plus a bonus Cassette 50!


OVERALL LOSER (one of the best games and next years host)
Super UDG Fighterz 2 Turbo by MykeP

ALS Tactics by Jason Railton

Otters on a Plane by Anders Carlsson

Mental Disorder Pacman by Paul Equinox Collins

Mega Ski by Shaun Bebbington

Noah and the Mower by RebelstarWAC

Advanced Junglist Simulator by Lee Spoons

Vaticania by apenao

Chromatrons Attack by guesser

Steve McCrea for his 25 entries!

S.N.A.I.L by Wookiee

Monkey Doo's Fruit Salad for the hit single by retromad

Crisp Snatcher by Steve Broad

Thanks again for all entries, it's been an absolute treat and honour to host this competition, it was exciting every time a new game appeared in the inbox.

Congratulations to pgyuri, commiserations to MykeP!

Good luck to MykeP in hosting the 2014 comp, and I will be getting my own back on him with a crap game or two of my own!

Disagree with any of the decisions?  Why not leave a comment and we can have a chat about your favourites.

Saturday 4 January 2014


By Paul Equinox Collins

Genre: Arcade: Existential flinch

This marks Paul’s second entry to the competition and it’s another introspective one.  Done in the 1990’s the game is based on a bonus stage from Super Mario on the GameBoy and named after his then best friend at school, Daniel.  Through Paul, Daniel met and is now married to one of Paul’s exes, and they are now committed Christians.  Paul said he didn’t have time to weave this tangled web into the game, but I would suggest that given the themes explored here – luck, fate, life, death, purpose, longevity, in a way he already has.

Ready or not, on loading you leap straight into the game (no introscreen or wait for keypress here) and have to work out what to do.  You randomly appear on one of the 4 platforms at a disarmingly fast rate and must press a key to ‘get’ the object on that platform.  Objects are green crosses (lose a life), clocks (extra time) and yellow boxes (extra life).  There is no scoring to speak of, unless you count the number of goes as such.  The speed of change is too fast to properly target anything, so it is at best guided, at worst random which item you get.  So like life, Daniel is a game of chance.

I tried to play through to the magic number, 256 goes, but annoyingly lost all my lives at the last few tries after plain sailing for ages.  Then it was game over and reincarnation straight back on the trampoline…

Thankyou Paul!

Download here.

Friday 3 January 2014

Agatha Christie's Parrot

By Jason Railton

Genre: Arcade: Swoop ‘n’ Snoop

Jason points out that the idea for this game was conceived decades ago “when a children's nature programme on BBC TV asked viewers to send in wildlife-themed computer games”, but only now has he realised this vision.

We can breathe a sigh of relief in that unlike Jason’s other entries, Agatha Christie’s Parrot doesn’t attempt to be a technical marvel.  The first ‘flaw’, as Jason points out, is that it doesn’t actually even feature a Parrot – it is in fact a Scarlet Macaw (Ara Macao)!  As a keen birder of course I recognised this instantly as I keep several in my study at any one time.

These instructions were provided:
In this you take on the role of the famous crime-solving bird, flying
high and swooping down to collect important clues to solving a great
murder-mystery.  Press any key to dive, and try to collect more clues
than you miss in order to solve the mystery.

It’s actually quite fun!  As you press the any key, the bird follows a nice character spaced swoop (perhaps Agatha Christie’s Peregrine would be more appropriate?) down onto a passing clue and upon acquisition you are one step closer to solving the mystery.  The bird animation is great, as are the UDGs, representing typical clues you might see in a murder mystery, like the dagger, the cocktail, the bomb, the train (?) and the err teddy bear.

Barmy, funny, simple and a bit crappy.  Ticks all the boxes for me.

Ah mon ami, ze little grey beak ‘az eet all.

Merci beaucoup Jason!

Download here.

Real Miner

By Arda

Genre: Ore-full Maze

It gives me great pleasure to announce that Arda, host of the 2012 CSSCGC and author of Drawlander, has been biding his time and entered a sizzling little maze game.

Done completely in BASIC, it brings to mind the joys of ScrapYard Scrapes, and I’m pleased to say I’ve enjoyed Real Miner just as much.  The aim of the game is to get to the green exit and get as much ore as you can en route.  You can move through bright red material and, Charles Atlas style, push the rocks that are larger than you.  To move through diamond and rubble you must use your pick axe, which appears to be made from substandard material as each one is capable of doing only one hit!  Mercifully, like any real mine it is scattered with equally unserviceable pickaxes in sealed pockets throughout.

Real Miner offers a nod to some modern gaming styles with its ‘Career Mode’, in which you play a preset game and follow a real life emulation of what it’s like to be a miner (and what an uncanny representation it is!).  Alongside this, more fun can be had with the random game and coded game, the screens in real miner are generated cleverly using procedural generation.

What’s crap about it?  For some the UDGs, it returns to BASIC for the random and coded game (see HACKSACK), the career mode may be impossible (though I’m not sure – more play needed) and random generation of impossible screens.  I love it to bits though, and it would sit nicely on the Cassette 50.

You might be wondering why it’s called real miner.  Well during play you may be sent into a mine with no pickaxes or in impossible traps and it becomes clear just how hazardous the life of a miner can be.  Arda’s game is clearly a call to arms for better working conditions in the mining industry.

Thankyou Arda!

Download here.


Download bugfixed versionhere.
 More pickaxes: Line 3000, LET pf=X, where ‘X’ is number of pickaxes.

Murk Alfa

By Jason Railton

Genre: Vexing vectors

Murk Alfa (a Star Wars reference?) is Jason Railton’s third entry to this year’s competition and this one is a jaw dropper.  It features wireframe graphics and brings great games and demos like ‘Escape from Targ’ and ‘Hunter’ to mind, and they were on the more powerful Amiga.

EDIT > It's been pointed out that it is in fact 'Mercenary: Escape from Targ' and there was a perfectly good Spectrum port available.  Not sure about 'Hunter', and short of doing a quick web search for it there is literally nothing I can do.

Jason provided the following info:



Due to an impending meteoric catastrophe, an entire but obscure

planetary system has been entirely evacuated.  Your task is to

infiltrate the capital trading district of one of the wealthiest

planet's major cities and steal the largest diamond in the history of

the universe for your shady employer.  You arrive and leave via the

city's Spaceport.  Due to automated security systems still in place, you

must procure all the materials to complete your quest from within the

city itself.



O and P - turn left / right

Q and A - step forward / back

W and S - sprint forward / back


SPACE or M - Fire / Select

To enter a building, walk under it, stand on its lift pad and press

FIRE, then B or 1-9 for the floor, 0 to exit.

When you have a suitable ticket, stand at a bus stop and press FIRE to

summon the bus.

When you have obtained a city map, press M to view it.

Press I to view an inventory of collected items.

With a suitable transport device, press E and D to move faster, but only

along roads.

With a suitable flight device, hold FIRE to gain altitude.


So far so good, in fact you might be wondering why this game isn’t in the best game 2013 competition instead.  Well, as good as Murk Alfa is there are a few tiny drawbacks, firstly the speed is buttock clenchingly slow (which is understandable because there is a lot going on), secondly the upper screen clears as it is redrawn, so you get a blinking effect when moving, third I can’t seem to solve any of the puzzles or make lifts work and fourth it returns to BASIC quite a lot.  With this in mind I began to suspect that Murk Alfa is not quite the finished article, however Jason gave his assurance that this is “a fully complete technical marvel, and has in no way given up because MCoder III runs out of memory trying to compile it.”


Nevertheless, Murk Alfa is a tantalising glimpse of a (potentially) amazing game, so whack your emulator right up and watch your Spectrum throw some astonishing wireframe shapes.  And erm if you can solve any of the puzzles let me know…

Thankyou Jason!

Download here.

Wednesday 1 January 2014

The CSSCGC deadline will be extended to midday* on Saturday 4th January.  Results will be announced very shortly after.

*UK time