Monday, 28 January 2013

100% Unofficial First Entry Simulator

By Shaun Bebbington (DONKEYSOFT)

Genre: diabolical adventure

The 100%UFES gets off to an excellent start by not autorunning upon loading.  Having to type RUN and press ENTER is not a particularly onerous task but is just irksome enough to add crapness.  And as the 3rd entry in the competition the title is rendered completely redundant!  So before even starting the player knows they should brace themselves for something special (granted the coder has added the caveat that it may not actually be the first entry).  It’s this level of attention to detail that gets bonus points in the CGC.

They say the pictures are better on the radio, and that modern fancy effects cannot outstrip the power of the players imagination – which is just as well because 100%UFES seems to have just one screen!  It does however, transport you to an eerie dark cavern, Why are you there?  What lurks behind the veil of darkness?  Powerful stuff.
The aim is to escape the caverns without being eaten by a Grue.  The tension rises as you walk (signified by an optimal ~2.7 second PAUSE) between caves, and you are warned when a hungry Grue is near – a terrifying thought.
On examining the code you can tell the game engine is driven by the powerful RND command.  So as you wander N,S,E or W your fate is (almost) entirely dependant on the Spectrums random seed variable.  From about 10 tries 2 of them resulted in success.
I don’t know much about non speccy games, but it’s encouraging to see that 100%UFES has not been on general release a day yet and there are already remakes!
If you are lucky enough to escape the caverns without being eaten, you are treated to the hallmark of a truly crap game: the STOP statement.  On reaching this point, if you have any sense, you will turn right around and get back into those caverns for another exciting game!
Tipshack: The game code checks that you are moving in a straight direction when it is ready to let you escape, so pick a direction and stick to it!
HACK PACK: Grue not hungry: 13 LET zork=170

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the excellent review.

    This is actually a partial conversion of a one-liner that I wrote. I was working on a re-factored edition yesterday, but my laptop inexplicably died before I had the chance to save my progress. But I will rework it so that you can 'refine' the keys, as that seems to be all the rage these days.