Monday, 23 September 2013

The Hunt for Magenta October

By Rebelstar without a Cause

Genre: Strategerine

This little beauty from Rebelstar marks our 75th entry so far, and as we are approximately ¾ of the way through the year we mayyyyy just manage the big 100 this year.  Let’s see.

THFMO (short for The Hunt for Magenta October) is an advanced strategy game with a sub-maritime theme, if that’s a word.  Picture the scene, a Russian submarine captained by a Russian who’s also Scottish, has gone missing.  An American sub is after it for some reason or other.  Sound familiar?  It should, as this game is clearly based on the hit submarine based film starring Gene Wilder - Crimson Tide.

You press ‘W’ to start and quickly realise there is an intense turn based strategy game ahead.  Some may find the screen layout a bit too minimalist - there is no text and the game doesn’t even bother with UDGs, in this case our submarines are represented by the humble ‘o’.  But for me it aids the tension, you can literally cut the water with a knife.  To play the game you move around the screen using QAOP and occasionally (or every 5 keystrokes if you prefer) the magenta sub surfaces so you can chase it.

When you finally reach your quarry there is a world of possibility – well one, and don’t get your hopes up too much.

Thankyou Rebelstar!

Download here.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Advanced Mongy Lard Simulator

By Wookiee

Genre: Penile contortion

Hot on the heels of his last entry, Wookiee has clearly been slaving away honing his crap gaming skills.  Advanced Mongy Lard Simulator is a ‘sort of snake game’ in more than one sense of the word.

For those not in the know, a ‘Mongy Lard’ is (as far as I can tell) a lady of large proportions and questionable moral fibre.  A synonym might be ‘Munter’.  The term has fallen into common usage since a member (there I go again) of the World of Spectrum forums frequently used to post pictures of said ladies.  Using the ROM graphics set for the intro screen, Wookiee has given us what may be Sinclair’s answer to the Mona Lisa.

In AMLS you must negiotate your old chap around the ‘maze’ of deadly durex wrappers and try to impregnate as many mongy lards as possible.  As with any snake game if you go back on yourself the game is over.  I don’t know what’s in the water where Wookiee lives, but if he can bend his dick around this many angles he should go on stage with it!

 Like any snake game this one is quite fun, with the added bonus of the mongy lards, as depicted by a high resolution UDG (or amorphous selection of pixels if you prefer).  I’m a big fan of UDGs, and with clever usage of those 64 pixels and the Spectrum’s palette, you can capture an object’s quintessence.  Thankfully Wookiee has done none of these things, having hastily cobbled together some crudely drawn and poorly coloured blocks – good work!

Thankyou Wookiee!

Tipshack:  Stick to the outside of the screen and make dash and grab raids when a ML appears.  It’s easy to trap yourself – think with your head, not your balls.

Download here.

Saturday, 21 September 2013


By Wookiee
Genre: Arcade Horror

 Behold.  The CGC has arrived.  This amazing competition is not only about making crap games, but also about breaking boundaries.  Space Nuclear Assault Infiltration Legionnaire just may be the slowest Spectrum BASIC game to have ever existed.  What’s even better is that I don’t think it was intended to be so, as you can sense this game has some heart – (and no delay loops to falsely slow the code).

Be sure to load this game in 128k mode (Tape loader option), as in 48k mode, or on a 48k Spectrum you will become very familiar with the ‘C Nonsense in BASIC’ statement.  The reason for this is the regular use of the 128k only ‘PLAY’ command, and I have to say it’s worth it.  The multi channel AY chip of the higher memory Spectrum is designed for catchy music and advanced effects, yet somehow Wookie has managed to combine this with the spectrum beeper to make a cacophony of grating beeps (bonus points for ripping off Frere Gustav from the Spectrum BASIC manual – and repeating the chorus enough to genuinely annoy).  Though I do have to yield that the crash noise isn’t at all bad.

So assuming you make it past the initial hurdles, on to the game.


To play S.N.A.I.L is amazing, the instructions suggests fast paced arcade fun, promising bombers, fighters, interceptors and flak bursting all around, yet somehow it plays like a turn based adventure!  Though I’m trying to see the best in it, and as long as you think of it as a turn based game it’s not actually that bad!  While there’s not much that can be done about the randomly appearing flak bursts, you can spot enemy behaviour and act accordingly.  And you certainly have time to do so, I literally had time to pour a cup of tea, remove the bag and add the milk before leisurely returning to my seat to face the onslaught of the Badong empire!  The biggest pain is when you do lose a life, you have to go right back to the bottom of the screen and trundle back up it again.


To lose a life in S.N.A.I.L must be akin to being a fly unexpectedly caught by a sluggish looming newspaper roll.

If you crank up the emulator the game is easy, but it’s interesting that at ‘normal’ speed it is very hard, in fact at the time of writing I have yet to complete it.

In summary, an appalling arcade game but not quite so bad strategy game.  It's got nice UDGs and heart.....still crap though.

Thankyou Wookiee!

Download here.


Wednesday, 18 September 2013


By Mulder

Genre: ASCII drop

After the horrors of some of the recent good games it’s nice to get back on message with this lovely little ASCII basic game from Mulder.  It’s based on a simple phone game, and you’d better be familiar with it because there is no hanging around!  On loading the game jumps straight in, leaving you scrabbling the keyboard trying to work out what to do, most likely resulting in your player plummeting or hitting the building.*

*EDIT - player error, Mulder has provided some detailed instructions:
Press SPACE to let go of the rope.
Watch out for the wind.

No backstory is provided, so the player is left wondering why the protagonist wants to do a potentially lethal jump between skyscrapers.  Even more unusual is the giant ropeswing in the sky!

After looking at the code it becomes clear that you need to press space to let go of the ropeswing and successfully land on the adjacent building.  You have to take the building height and wind variables into account, lest the player meets a grisly end.

This is pretty playable, and you’ll want to try and get through at least a few screens.  Simple, fun, CARP!

Thankyou Mulder!

Tipshack:  Press space at the right time to land on the building.


Eye of the storm: 30 LET W=INT(RND*10)
Jumper bottles it: 150 LET X=X
Obese jumper: 399 LET y=y+5

Download the hacked version, in which you have variable fat reserves to take into account (sorry Mulder!)

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Dung Darach

By daveysludge

Genre: Arcade: dungpush


Here we have davey’s second entry to the competition, and like the last it revisits some of his work from the 80’s and has a scatological theme.

From a crap game point of view there are just too many things 'wrong' with this, so many in fact it’s easier to list as bullet points:

·         Nice music and sound effects (especially the YEAHHH! at each level end)
·         Amazing graphics
·         Fun and challenging to play
·         Appropriate difficulty gradient (levels 10 and 15 are when it gets tougher)
·         20 well designed levels
·         Programmed in machine code
·         Uses a multicolour effect
·         Nice looking cassette inlay

For shame!

Here’s the backstory:

A pink hippopotamus is on the rampage and defecating all over town, in this game you assume the role of Mark Barton Dung who must roll the giant faeces into his turd burger making machine.


After you pick your jaw up off the floor and start playing, you start off as a cute little bug and you must eat until you are big enough to move the hippo droppings.  Avoid the roaming baddies, some deplete your energy, others are not interested in you until you are big enough to eat – then they chase and eat you.  You can’t push the dung but instead you walk through it, and it appears in your previous space.

It is great to play but I’m especially impressed by the graphics.  DD works with the spectrums attribute quirks to look as if we’re getting more colours per square than normally possible.  Doing this does mean the sprites move in 2 character steps but it gets away with it (1 space would have been possible but probably harder to code).

One to enjoy, and complete.

Thankyou davey!

Tipshack: In the later levels try to eat the best placed last object, often farthest from the chasing baddies.  Levels 17 and 20 are particularly difficult, and sometimes you might want to wait (if you can last) until a blue/white pill appears to get the advantage.


Download alternative: Thisgame is too good to sell short, so I’ve ‘done a Harry’ on it: download the toilet humour free version with QAOP keys: BugBurger.  (Sorry davey!)

HACK SACK: as this game is a bit special, I asked hacker extraordinaire Andrew Ryals to do some POKEs: <<HACKS PENDING>>

Pacifist Space Invaders

By Lee Spoons

Genre: Arcade: hand wringing

Yet again those pesky aliens are bearing down on earth and you are mankind’s last hope.  This BASIC game has a new take on the Space Invaders genre: you have a white flag instead of a death ray.  As the intro screen suggests you are relying on the hope that the aliens are fans of various yoghurt weaved foodstuff and talking things over.


As ever Lee is a master of sound, and pacifist space invaders has nice effects and a superb rendition of ‘Give peace a chance’.  However the quality ends there – Pacifist Space Invaders is utter carp!  There is some curious screen edge checking, so that when you go off the right hand side it causes the BASIC ‘scroll’ to start!  Pressing the fire key prints an ineffectual white flag above the player ship, though having said that it looks chunky and odd enough to at least confuse the aliens.


If you have the patience to wait for the aliens to land, you’ll discover they mean business…

Thankyou Lee!

Tipshack: crank you emulator up and get it over with.

Download here.

HACK SACK: Download the yoghurt weavers version with a happy ending :-p

Mental Disorder Pacman

Mental Disorder Pacman
By Paul Equinox Collins
Genre: Maze disorder

What do we have here?  When we thought every possible permeation of Pacman had been done, could it be our humble competition sees an original idea in the genre?

There’s a lot of work in Mental Disorder Pacman, which is HiSoft compiled BASIC (I think).  To quote Paul:

This is "Mental Disorder Pac-Man". You can either play a normal(ish, but crap) game of Pac-Man, or enable one of nine different, exciting mental disorders, which will affect your perception of the game in various ways. Watch out for the ghosts, as they have little or no sympathy for your disabilities.

The ‘normal’ Pacman game is actually ok – despite being character based (which is actually fine with me but not everyone likes it) it has some lovely sounds and looks good.  The key to a good Pacman game is the keyread, you should be able to press the new direction and our little yellow friend keeps moving until that direction becomes available.  Thankfully Mental Disorder Pacman doesn’t have this property, instead favouring the ‘stop dead when new key pressed and frustrate the player’ method.  Also the speed is not constant, Pacman has the occasional burst of speed, making judging those corners even harder (so bonus points natch).

The disorders:

Autism: Pacman has his own little maze.  He may be able to see the ghosts and observe their behaviour when eating a power pill, but to understand and interact with them is not an option.
Anorexia: Not so many pellets, none of which are power pills, and a more slimline Pacman.
Multiple Personality: Two Pacmans, both vulnerable to the ghosts.  Makes for interesting strategy.
Huntington’s disease: Not so easy to control.
Gender Identity: Pacman has a rather fetching ponytail.
Pica: Never heard of this before, some people apparently like eating non nutritious stuffs, eg dirt.  Pacman can eat the walls, makes for an interesting (and easier!) game.
Fregoli delusion: A new one on me, one ghost with numerous forms.
Narcolepsy: Pacman takes the occasional nap.
Catatonia: Poor Pacman cannot move away from the ghosts, but on the upside he knows very little about what they will do to him.

I suppose in summary we can say that life is hard (as is the ‘normal’ version), but some have it harder than others.  Unless you have pica.

Download here, the BASIC source follows the game.  Thankyou Eq!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Collateral Damage

Collateral Damage

By Steve McCrea

Genre: Text - back door war.

After a long summer pause, it’s lovely to see another crap game from Steve in the inbox again.  This mean he is but one entry away (I think)  from equalling the most games entered into the CSSCGC since its conception.

Collateral Damage is a nice little text adventure with, like some of his other games, a point to make.  No instructions are provided but it is assumed you are the president of the United States, and for posterity it should be noted the USA is currently in an attempt to engineer a military strike against Syria.  The game was submitted before some surprising events that may actually mean on this occasion, the USA will not end up bombing another middle eastern country without UN backing (what’s even more astounding is that the UK voted against being the obedient sidekick).  Let's see.

 However, enough of that, the game itself.  This is coded entirely in BASIC and I was ready to think the slow text printing was a carp feature, though it turned out to be the text wrapping.  The normal text game phrases do not apply here, and you can only type the words in white from the main text.  The game is short and, depending which route you decide to take, open ended.  I do love the little puzzles and humour this game is liberally sprinkled with.

 The big question is: do you go east or west down the corridor?

 Excellent work Steve.

 Download here.

Tipshack: knowing the structure of a doughnut can be useful to this game.  Also, if you choose to, never go to war on an empty stomach.

 HACKSACK: Drone attacks that might not annoy the locals quite as much as usual.  In line 889 change to LET Z=2.