Saturday, 30 November 2013

Dearest Urinals

By Steve McCrea

Genre: Text: typing pirates

Garrrr!  Come ‘ere Jim laaaad, come sit on Cap’n Long John Silver’s knee, I ahhzz a deal for ye.  See this in my chest me hearty?  That be a ZX-Spectrum, the finest booty I’ve ever swagged during my sweet trade, from a bald pated lubber while aaat port o’ Cambridge.  Let’s be playing a grand game, called dearest urinals – that be an anagram of the finest story evarrrr told me hearty.  This cassette I be holding here has but one and twenty kilobytes of text from it, some fine graphics to boot and makes fine use of the F, the Z and the X.


Now then matey, here’s what we do.  Said Speccy be quoted a passage from said book and you must unjumble them there letters as quick aaaazz you can, the longer you wait the further me and my gen’lmen o’ fortune go.  First one to treasure island wins, or rather Jim laaad, if the jolly roger gets thaaar first, the squiffies aboard your swaggy will experience a keelhauling they’ll never forget.

Thankyou Steve!  (Now pass the grog)

Download here.

EDIT - reading that back I realise at some point I lost 'Pirate' and took on 'Cornish'

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Cheerful Chicken

By MykeP

Genre: drop ‘n’ don’t hatch

This is more, or less, based on the modern game character of a similar name.  Those familiar with it will know it involves button (or pad) mashing in order to lay as many eggs as possible, and that this version bears little to no resemblance whatsoever!  The ever increasing number of sprites to be drawn on the screen presents a problem for the spectrum coder: how to maintain game speed and keep pushing those pixels around?  Well, with some lightening fast machine code, clever game design and general use of nifty tricks it is more than possible to make a playable version for the good old ZX-Spectrum.

But this is the CGC, and thankfully MykeP has used none of the above!

Fans of loading screens be sure to turn off turbo load and appreciate the lovely easter eggs hiding under the attributes.  This chicken based game is programmed in BASIC and marks an excellent first entry from Myke.

I've not played any modern version, but I think I've got to grips with the gameplay here.  Press the any key and the chicken lays an egg, fail to press a key before a random counter winds down and they hatch.  It is not actually so much about button mashing, as button holding, as that suffices to keep the game going!  The number of eggs on the screen is your score.  So naturally it is fairly easy to accrue a large number of eggs, and equally naturally the spectrum slowly grinds to a halt giving S.N.A.I.L a run for its money!  I suppose in this sense the biggest challenge is one of inner strength, how long can you bear to keep mashing a key  and watching your poor spectrum get tortured?

Nice presentation, lovely beeper music, and an unplayable load of old carp that is most welcome in the competition!

Thank you Myke!

Download TAPE here.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Monkey Doo's Fruit Salad

By Retromad

Genre: Arcade: Fruit flinch

This ace BASIC game features Monkey Doo, remember?  Everyone’s favourite t-shirted manky, mange ridden Monkey puppet from the 80’s?  No, well maybe that’s because Retromad failed to keep copies of his earlier C15 tapes, or one of the big software houses failed to spot a smash hit when it dropped on the doormat.  No matter, as Monkey Doo is now available again for the ZX-Spectrum, and this time it’s the full package – game, inlay and hit single, yes, I said hit single.

Monkey Doo’s Fruit Salad gets off to a great start as it is supplied as a z80 file on which you have to type RUN to start.  Then follows a loonnnnnggg intro with piccies, beeps, references to the Grattan catalogue, and some instructions along the way.  The aim of the game is to make Monkey Doo 8 fruit salads, not just any old fruit salad mind – it has to be composed of an apple and a orange and a banana and a cherry (different to the one on the inlay which appears to be festooned with Monkey stools, or perhaps blackberries).  There must be no fruplicates (that’s shorthand for fruit duplicates in order to save time) and you have to think quick – if you don’t press the right key in time the game is over and all the fruit salads are lost.  1 fruit salad is manageable but each time it speeds up.  Press A for Apple, B for Banana, C for Cherry and O for Orange, when a fruplicate appears press D to discard.

Sounds complicated?  Don’t worry if so, because Retromad has supplied a catchy hit single to help you remember what to do.
MDFS is both crap and brilliant.  It encapsulates a lot of emotions, it looks and sounds like an early 80’s bit of homebrew but there are no bugs and it’s addictive to play.  I found myself wanting to get to the next level, but mind and body don’t always seem to collaborate fast enough, each time I read the words “HERE COMES THE FRUIT” I was genuinely nervous about completing the level.

So far I can only make a pathetic 5 fruit salads (poor Monkey Doo), but for the person who completes the game there is a prize – just jot down the London phone number and give the code.  Yes I’ve peeked at the program to see that, and yes I was tempted to ring the (probably made up) number and give the code.  I could of course be wrong and there is actually an amazing prize – but there’s only one way to find out – GET PLAYING!

Thankyou Retromad!

Download game here.
Download Inlay here.
Download ‘hit’ single here.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Maggie Thatcher: Milk Snatcher

By Steve McCrea

Genre: Arcade: Rickets

Firstly, congratulations to Steve on his world record 22nd entry to the CGC.

This entry takes us all the way back to 1971, and you are a primary school teacher trying to evade the milk snatching talons of Margaret Thatcher.

It’s actually a pretty nice maze game, the object of which is to run around the school desks collecting milk and giving it to the pupil most in need.  Instead of the traditional symptoms of malnutrition, this game demonstrates need for milk by the sprite flashing on and off!  Once delivered, another carton appears elsewhere in the maze (you can only carry one at a time naturally) and you continue until you’ve done 12 pints or Maggie gets you.  The further you progress in this maze Maggie seems to become better at chasing you, to the point that it does get pretty frantic toward the end of each level (Steve informs me Maggie uses A* pathfinding!).

MT:MS has plenty of crap qualities but I must confess to being disappointed to have completed it so quickly, so it can’t be that bad eh?

 The game is silent, apart from when Maggie does catch you, and you hear her utter those terrifying words… “I want milk”.

(either that or ‘I like pomme frites’, I can’t quite tell).

Thankyou Steve!  There’ll be an appropriate prize with your name on it at the end of the year.

Download here.