ACORN ELECTRON - FIVE GAMES FIVE MINUTES #36


Uploaded by AcornElectronTV on 20.05.2011

Transcript:
Hello again, and welcome to...
...another episode of Five Games Five Minutes...
...from acornelectron.co.uk
BALLOON BUSTER is a very nice-looking Mode 2 game.
You play a clown who is charged with...
...busting balloons on each screen.
Each balloon must be 'busted' in a particular sequence.
i.e. red, green, yellow, blue then purple.
I wouldn't really class the game as an arcade game.
It's more of a reaction- strategy type release.
Even if it does have very pretty graphics.
You bounce around the playing area, ...
...holding down the SPACE key to give the juggling balls...
...a greater or lesser amount of power.
Balloons are positioned in ever more difficult positions as the levels increase.
It's game over if you take out more than one balloon on a single throw, ...
...or if you burst balloons out of sequence, ...
...or if you just run out of time.
BALLOON BUSTER's not a bad title.
It does what it does well.
But, of course, it quickly begins to feel repetitive.
And I doubt it will hold anyone's attention for very long.
3D DOTTY is a game that is incredibly difficult to describe.
It's set on three levels, each one held up above the other...
...by columns, and connected by long ladders.
On each of the three levels, there are a number of dots...
...and a roaming fungus.
Your character has an energy bar which is depleted...
...if the fungus scurries underneath your feet.
The aim of the game is to collect all the dots...
...on all of the levels, without letting the fungus...
...get under your feet for so long that your energy drains to zero.
You can do this by luring the fungus in a certain direction...
...then running back- wards away from it.
If it gets too close for com- fort, you can also drop a block...
...which literally blocks it from following you.
Although the 3D perspective is a necessary, and nice, touch, ...
...there's one obvious difficulty with this sort of game.
The columns which, if you think about it, ...
...are unnecessary, completely obscure sections of the playing area.
There are dots which you need to collect, which you cannot see!
The counter of dots remaining on each level...
...does something to mitigate that problem, ...
...but it's annoying all the same!
Other than that, 3D DOTTY is difficult to master...
...and fairly addictive.
Games don't come much more simple than MR. WIZ.
You control a wizard, who must collect cherries, in an overhead maze.
All you need to do to clear each screen, ...
...is to collect up the cherries on it.
However, this is easier said than done, ...
... because gremlins keep being incarnated in the centre of the screen.
These gremlins then follow you through the tracks you've made...
...in the maze, or, occasionally, drill through the maze to reach you.
To kill the gremlins, you tunnel under rocks, ...
...or throw your crystal ball in their direction.
Dropping rocks on them seems to yield more success.
The game is for the nimble- fingered and, by thinking ahead, ...
...it's possible to sail through the levels.
It suffers, as all of the early Electron games do, ...
...from being the same thing over and over again.
But, because it's rather an enjoyable same thing, ...
...it's got more longevity than other games.
START PROGRAMMING is a collection of four programs...
...which appeared in the book of the same name.
Every new Acorn Electron sold in the UK came with these programs, ...
...and the almost universal verdict on them...
...was that they were disjointed and unuseful.
First up is GREETER, which is a basic AI program...
...which remembers how to greet people, based on the name they've given it.
Next we have RIVERGAME, which is the whole...
...fox-farmer- chicken-grain puzzle.
This is meant to demonstrate the use of procedures...
...and, to show this, each time a procedure is called, ...
...the Electron writes its name on the screen.
This makes for an ugly-looking game, ...
...which also takes an age to draw the sprites.
Finally, there are two TURTLE-type programs.
To use these, you need to refer to the book, ...
...which sets you a number of exercises...
...to help the turtle escape from different mazes.
This might be a challenge to work out in itself...
...but it's got little wider application in programming.
There's no way of getting around the fact...
...that these programs are largely eccentric.
Just imagine it's 1983...
...and THESE were the best...
...that your new, expensive computer had to offer.
Actually, many Electrons were returned and said to be 'unworking'.
Hmmm.
It's not for me to cast aspersions, ...
...but you see these programs and...
...you do suddenly start to wonder!
RICOCHET is another Superior/Acornsoft game...
...which is so good that it almost makes the player...
...doubt that it's actually even possible on an Electron.
It's a graphic adventure in traditional style.
But, in addition, it's got five levels, ...
...accessed via passwords.
I'd go so far as to say each level is the size...
...and complexity of an individual adventure in its own right.
There's some obscure plot in the instructions...
...but there's not a lot of point wading through them.
Unless you don't know that keys open doors, ...
...and buckets need to be filled with water.
Where RICOCHET really excels though...
...is in its SPEED OF EXECUTION.
In most graphic adventures, plodding from say the West...
...to the East Wing can take a good few minutes.
Not so here.
In fact, rolling around is almost TOO fast.
Screens flick past so quickly, ...
...you've barely got time to clock the nasties...
...before crashing into them!
And the first time you see the 'bounce' feature, ...
...prepare to be amazed!
I think RICOCHET is head and shoulders...
...the best Acorn Electron graphic adventure...
...or set of them...
...ever released!
Subtitles by Subtitle Workshop