The comp.sys.sinclair Crap Games Competition 2021 - 25th edition!



Author:  Giannis "Firelord" Model:  16K Spectrum Format:    .TAP
Submission date:  3 December 2021 Documentation:  amusing background, brief instructions Tested on:  Spectaculator 8.0

Download it here

"The long awaited sequel is here..."

Barely had I managed to get a working tape version of Find Santa sent to me, than Giannis said "I'm working on a sequel where you have to find the Easter Bunny". My immediate thought was "no, seriously, please don't" but that soon turned to "wait a minute, you do realise that I won't be hosting this competition by April, right?" And barely had I sent the reply saying so, than another "Firelord Special" wormed its way into my inbox - that "long awaited sequel".

It should surprise absolutely nobody to learn that this is the exact same game that had just been sent to me barely ten minutes previously, with all the "Santa" references changed to "Easter Bunny". Oh, and the present in the boy's sock has been changed to an egg. "EasterBunny Claws" is still a drunk who does improper things with children's socks, and according to "flat-earth believers", a fat old man with a white beard who wears a red outfit who rides flying animals. The Easter Bunny is not, would you believe, a rabbit that hides eggs in the garden. Both Santa and the soon-renamed EasterBunny (still spaceless and minus both "Claws" and "Claus" suffixes) have the same named helpers, both had copyright lawsuits slapped on them, and both, apparently, hide up the chimney. The Easter Bunny does not, as you would expect, hide in the garden, or in a hutch, or on the set of Watership Down, or in a factory that makes cat food, or in Bishop Brennan's nightmares, or any other places you might expect to find a small, furry thing with long ears that eats carrots and says "Nyeeeeeh, what's up, Doc?" and terrifies tyrannical Irish bishops!

I'm running the two "games" side by side, one in Spectaculator, the other in Fuse. I've LISTed them side by side as well, just so that I can see with my own eyes that the choices you need to make to find both mythical figures from a once Christian day of self-flagellation turned over-commercialised holiday are the same. And, both are saddled with the same flaw of potentially turning the PAPER black to hide all the text.

What this "game" serves to remind me is that it isn't so different from CSSCGC submissions in days of yore. Six of Giannis' similar entries were in Digital Prawn's 2008 competition, the most-entered competition that there has ever been. We don't see much of him around these days, and I have to wonder if he whiles away his days in a rubber room after those 130 entries - some of which were really very good, but many were about the same level as Find the Easter Santa Bunny, quite a few were very low-effort repetitions of the Advanced (Something) Simulator joke, and there were seven versions of More Tea Vicar (ZX80, ZX81, Spectrum, QL, Z88, Jupiter Ace, and... er... UK101, whatever that is.) I suppose I should be grateful that I've mostly avoided the same fate; such is the power of going all out at the beginning of the competition to demand quality - well, "lack of un-quality", let's say - over quantity. The bar may be low, it may always have been low, but it was my intention to raise it. By and large, it's worked. I will not let this, or its predecessor, drag me down.

Hang on a mo, something is different! The Qs that plagued the text in Find Santa are gone. Maybe they're with the bunnies in Bishop Brennan's bedroom, nibbling at his cassock.

Do I need to score this? Oh well. One mask, as expected. Effort goes down to a single Rick, because I've gone to a hell of a lot more of it writing all this bumph as Giannis did in altering the previous entry. And the Goolus go up to two, one for the same reasons as in Find Santa, the other for wasting my time when I could have been doing something more productive - such as giving the Bullseye Bonus Game a final bit of fettling, or writing my own Crap Games for next year's lucky host, or reading Classic. Retro. Modern. magazine, or doing just about anything else that's legal and interesting to me. Demerits exceed attainment, and that brings out the black flag!

As with Find Santa, the initial email subject line ended in "CSSCGC2021 winning entry". The ancient Greeks had a word - ὕβρις - adapted into modern English as "hubris", which is best translated as "excessive arrogance", "dangerous overconfidence", or more poetically, "the pride which goes before a fall". Declaring yourself the winner before the competition is over didn't work for Lithuania in the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest (although it was hilarious to watch, the only time I'll ever say that about Eurovision, which I'd usually loathe), and it won't work here.

Not on my watch.