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



Author:  Salvador Camacho Model:  16K ZX81 Format:    .P
Submission date:  17 December 2021 Documentation:  C source code Tested on:  EightyOne 1.23

Download it here

"I know I said it would be the last game, but it can't be that it stays at 59 games..."
- Salvador, 17 December 2021, 10:21 pm

Little did Salvador know that, at the point that his final final game for the year dropped into my inbox with an hour and a half left on the clock, I was busy writing the review for the 60th entry that he had no idea existed. But am I complaining? Salvador's been such a trooper with ZX81 entries that this is the eleventh of the year.

"As I did not have time I have used the code of the last game to create this one, you have to avoid crashing, you do not have to collect anything, the score increases as you progress."

That previous game that's been hurriedly recycled is Highway Robbery 2021 - I could tell as soon as the black background started filling the top of the screen. I've demerited Giannis' games for the same thing, but in the case of Find Easter Bunny I thought he was ripping the piss. Salvador, at least, has the excuse that the deadline is looming so large on the horizon that there genuinely isn't the time to do more, and it sounds like he's trying to do me, and my competition, a big favour.

"Sorry Kurt-Arne Johnsen I copied your reindeer."

More time-saving measures, then. (Kurt is a Norwegian member of the ZX81 Owners Group on Facebook, and it's a private group so I can't see the original post.) However, the reindeer graphic is just a few ZX81 Chunk-o-Vision characters anyway - and think of all the Donkey Kong games on the ZX81 that have used similar collections of ROM characters for the big ape. We had one of our own earlier in the year. Maybe the <> token could have been a useful graphic for Rudolph's antlers. Anyway, what's done is done.

As for the game: it's a far, far easier version of Highway Robbery 2021 - maybe that's why this is Rudolph "Practices" - think of it as a training mode. The Scandinavian-derived Rudolph graphic is larger than the car in Highway Robbery 2021, but much slower, and there are far fewer graphic Hs in the way. I managed to score ($...?)107 at my first attempt, a score which would have been a superhuman achievement in Highway Robbery 2021, and I only crashed because I was looking for EightyOne's pause key so that I could take a screenshot. Second time round I scored 297, and I'm sure the obstacles were getting more closely spaced. Someone with patience, a lot more reviewing time and the urge for a grind-fest (eased slightly by EightyOne's snapshot facility) might be able to break the score counter on this one - it only has to roll past 999, and it's possible.

Highway Robbery 2021 scored two masks and three Ricks, which I still say was a fair score for a very hard game. This, as it's a very obvious clone, and much easier, I'm going to have to drop to two Ricks - most of it didn't need to be written again - but any demerits are waved away because Salvador was open and honest about his intentions with this game. If you want to compare the source code of the two games and find out how much has changed, as always, Salvador has made it available for all to see.

"I hope you have happy holidays, you deserve it, thanks for the contest"

Can't promise anything, what with a Coronatarianism-obsessed government leaving us in the dark about whether we'll get an actual Christmas or not. But as Salvador wishes us all a HAPPY CRAP CHRISTMAS at the end of the game, I'll at least try to make something of it, even if it is just casseroling a couple of frozen turkey drumsticks from an excellent butcher in March. (The town, not the month.)

This time, I think we're finally done. 61 entries, I'll be proud of that.

*email alert noise* really can't be...