Saturday, 14 December 2013

Burndown Takeout ZX

By MykeP

Genre: Arcade: Reckless driving

This Race ‘n’ shunt game marks MykeP’s 3rd entry into the competition, and what a late spurter he’s proving to be.  For those in the know BDTOZX is based on a modern game of a similar name, in which (after a bit of research) you need to drive in a frightfully unsafe manner, crashing into other cars in order to cross the finish line first.

I actually thought that with the release of Rally Driver in 1984, there was nothing new that could be added to the genre, but how wrong I was.  If RD offered sweaty, palpitating, touch sensitive action, BDTOZX can be described as being at the opposite end of the Spectrum.  And it is from the get go, because as soon as it loads you are treated to an incredibly long pause while it loads, populates, randomizes* and initialises…..stuff.  Though as it turns out this pause seems unfortunately brief because after it comes the ‘music’ which I gather is by ‘My Chemical Romance’ and ‘Lady Gaga’ (as Myke calls them).  While it may be accomplished, it hurts.

A huge amount of work has gone into this game (which I’m not sure I’m doing justice to here), which has numerous nods to modern gaming events like ‘unlockable games’ which of course, fail to work.

It’s amazing how slow Spectrum BASIC can be sometimes (thankfully I had a mountain of ket** delivered last week), and I’d say Myke has pushed in all the stops to make it so.  For this game to be exciting in any real sense you have to crank the emulator right up.  But at a pedestrian 3.5MHz you take on a zen like understanding of the world, where you can see everything, and/or nothing, happening all at once.  And while a nicely drawn (and it is nicely drawn) explosion can pump up the adrenaline at faster speeds, it takes on a more poetic, contemplative angle at the snail’s pace BDTOZX was intended to run at.

Good fun this, crank up the emulator, have a look through the code at all the references, and be generally impressed with an accomplished piece of absolute carp.

Great work and thankyou Myke!

Download here.
* why did the speccy ROM use ‘z’ in randomise, for shame?


  1. What an incredibly generous review - the glass is clearly half-full with this one. :)

    What happened with UDG 'flames' the in-game screenshot - where did "Spectrum Spectrum" come from?

    The 'music' is "I'm not okay (I promise)" by MCR which featured in the original PS2 game and which I painstakingly converted note-by-note using an iPad Piano app and a printout of the BEEP conversion table from the Speccy manual. Now I know I'm making that sound enticing, however, so tedious was this task that I gave up about 2/3 through the song and fiddled the code into an infinite verse-chorus-verse-chorus loop.

    75p and a packet of Rolos to anyone who can tolerate listening for the full 3m08s duration of the original song. :)

  2. Not sure about the UDG flames, but the SPECTRUM SPECTRUM text is my fault. I loaded from the 128k 'Tape Loader Option', and used that for the screengrabs. Certain 48k commands on the non48k 128 relate to the different commands. Sorry chef.

    Wellll, I do like my rolos, but not quite that much...