Saturday, 22 June 2013

Search for ET

By Lee Spoons

Genre: Arcade: Urbanmythbuster

Lee is building up a great little portfolio in the CGC after a long break.  This one is inspired by the Atari video game burial of 1983.  In a nutshell this is the suspected disposal of Pacman2600 and ET the Extra Terrestrial cartridges in a new Mexico landfill site after huge sales losses (ET is also generally hailed as one of the worst games of all time).  Rumour has it that there are over 3.5 million crushed cartridges and some peripherals concreted over there.  The story resurfaced recently as a media company will soon be searching the landfill site for a documentary.

After the loading screen the first thing to notice is the ABSOLUTELY COOL MUSIC!  Made using Beepola, in my opinion it improves on the actual ET theme so the game’s going to have to be pretty bad to make up for it.

You take the role of a digger (represented by an excellent high resolution UDG) which you drive around the landfill site and dig for treasure.  Digging is represented by an irksome cascade of beeps.  If you are close to the ET cartridge you are given a message ‘GETTING WARM’.  Lee avoids silly complicated algorithms and bases the check on whether you are on the same row or column as the cartridge.  Unfortunately this means once you work out that you are on the same line, all you have to do is work your way along it – slowly digging all the way. 

Just in case you fancy playing Search for ET more than once (and why the devil wouldn’t you?!?), be prepared for a couple of bugs on restart.  There are ghost graphics and it’s possible to go outside the screen and return to basic (bonus points!).

Well as the saying goes, you can’t polish a turd – but you can give it an excellent soundtrack.  Thankyou Lee!

HACK SACK:     Remove line 1005 to stop the annoying digging noise.

                        Success every time:  1005 LET H1=H:LET V1+V

Tipshack:         From a hard reset, the RND seed sets the cartridge position to the same place each time.

Download the game here.

And if you like, the cracked version here where ET has been paid off by Atari to stop you finding the cartridges.  (Sorry Lee!)

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