Saturday, 2 February 2013

Peace Love and UnderStanding

Peace, Love and UnderStanding
By Steve McCrea
Genre: Lvmup
Peace, Love and UnderStanding (or PLUS from here to maintain a modicum of brevity) can only be described as a shoot em up, and before you start salivating and feverishly shouting “SMASHTHEALIENSDOOMDESTRUCTIONCRASHBANGZAP!!” take note that PLUS is a bit different.  The intro screen gives you an inkling of this when you look at the keys: Z for left, X for right, L for…Love?
On startup you get a very satisfying pause while the BASIC program configures the UDGS (and PLUS uses the full set from A-T), which the LOADING… message nicely informs you of.
The aim of the game is to pilot a talisman of sorts (for which the graphic looks more like a motorbike!) left and right and shoot love hearts (sorry - missiles) at the Doves, YinYangs, CNDs and Oms.  These symbols jerk left to right at varying rates, mostly of slow.  A direct hit gains you harmony, a miss loses it based on time elapsed since your last successful love.  Of course it does.
It’s actually quite difficult to get a successful hit, and annoyingly, once you’ve pressed fire you have to watch your love missile sloowwwwlly run its course to the bottom of the screen.  By this time it’s usually too late to attempt another shot and harmony is lost.
Nice touches include sound effects, 16x16 graphics and a little routine to cycle ink colours each time you pass the intro screen.
There is no compunction to actually ‘join in’ the game, as no harmony is lost if you don’t make any shots nor if a peace symbol makes it to the far right of the screen.  So you can sit back and watch the world go by, though you have to be at peace with the fact that the stakes grow higher with every passing ship - if at some point you do plan to join in.  A very philosophical game and quite a good analogy for life I suppose (If this was intentional Steve, may I compliment you on an ingenious idea).

The words of the great yogi spring to mind ‘Real peace is always unshakeable…bliss is unchanged by gain or loss’.
Bloody hippies.
Tipshack: Load on a real Spectrum, adopt the lotus position, and watch a world of peace and harmony pass over you.
HACK PACK: Infinity Harmony: In line 60 change LET sc=sc-INT to LET sc=sc+INT


  1. Nice one Steve for bringing peace to the Speccy, but I think this game is strangely good.

  2. Rebelstar without a cause7 February 2013 at 18:50

    I have to agree, this game is bordering on being playable. Must try harder!