Crap Games Competition 2018 Reviews
Here you will find the latest reviews of the very best entries
Table of Contents
Click to select the review to the game the you want to read.
Winter Neurobics Pentathalon
In a nut-shell: Unofficial Winter Olymics 2018 tie-in
Yawn Sinclair MegaGame
It won't surprise anyone out there that I wasn't very good at sports when I were a lad. Not one bit. Of course, I used to play a game of Footy over the park with jumpers for goal posts, but I just wasn't ever very Footy-ish, and always the last to be picked for any sporty-type thing, so when this sports sim landed I feared the worst. Would it be a joystick-breaking or keyboard-bashing affair? Yikes!
On loading Winter Neurobics Pentathalon though, my fears were quickly quashed; this is not just a mindless joystick-waggler or keyboard-basher, the task is to precisely time your interactions with the keyboard according to the on-screen prompt, so this is more of a celeberal workout than one which would quickly require a new keyboard!
Each of the five events, which are Ski Jump, Speed Skating, Downhill Slalom, Curling, and Luge increase in difficulty respectively. In fact, at the time of writing, I've not yet managed a successful Luge run. And on the original sumbission (let's call it V1.0), the Luge event couldn't be completed, so that alone gets it an extra point!
Make no mistake, Winter Neurobics Pentathalon is ACE! It's a new sort of sports sim for those of us who don't want to replace our olde keyboard membranes any time soon, whilst providing a significant challenge that'll keep you coming back time and again. Capture the Winter Olympic fervour with this fab game!
Summary: A great mental challenge which unlike other sports sims won't bust your keyboard!
16K users are not treated to the high resolution graphics that 48K users are
V1.1 is marked down to for Playability and Total by one point each due to it being a 'fixed' version
In a nut-shell: Strategy Board Game Simulator
Developer: Josef Schaaf of the ZX User Club Cooperation GmbH (original German version) and Volker Bartheld (this version)
Fortresses, eh? You can't whack 'em! They're great for creating near impenetrable inner-sanctums to defend against your mightiest foes, hoard treasure and protect those thing most important to you. In this case, however, the Fortress in question is presented as a multi-sided polygon, kind of a maths type thing that clever kids know all about, drawn beautifully and using a wise selection of the colours available on the ZX Spectrum.
This is for one or two players of opposing sides. Your protagonist is either someone in the same room as you in two-player mode, eagerly hovering around the Speccy, or you can play against your much loved and favouritest all-time super computer, the old Spectrum itself.
Moving around the game-world in attack mode reduces the routes available to you, or playing as the defender will only allow a movement of three places. Should either player be within one move of each other and... Bam! It's game over for one of you.
What we have is another skillo entry that's got everything you want! Great fun, especially on the super-difficult one-player mode.
Summary: Deffo a game for those brainy kids out there!
Works on a 16K Speccy (Yay!)
One player mode is super-difficult (or I'm constantly out-smarted by a 16K ZX Spectrum)
Clive's Realtime Advanced Prognosticator
In a nut-shell: Turn your Speccy into a seer
Is it really possible to predict the future? This subject has fascinated humanity probably since its very beginnings, and something that Kweepa's Clive's Realtime Advanced Prognosticator deals with in this BERRRilliant little game.
You're greeted with a stunning title screen which has a binary representations of super brainy boffin' and all-around future seer Sir Clive Sinclair himself, though 16K ZX Spectrum see only text so you will have to use your imagination somewhat. Clive'll guide you through with cryptic hints such as "I prognosticate that the controls are 6,7,Enter".
The first thing to do is to enter your date of birth, and from there you'll be taken through many many scenarios, each of which will be prognosticated. There's a real variety in there that'll keep you entertained for hours. And hours. In fact, we love this so much at the CGC shed that I'm gonna give it another go. Download and enjoy, kids, yer won't be disappointed.
Summary: Turns your Speccy into a fortune teller, of sorts.
48K users are greeted with some great pixels, though 16K users need to use their imaginations.
In a nut-shell: Simulate a pocket LCD game on your micro
Developer: Simon Pitter
Vvrrooommm! Well what do we have 'ere then? A simulator of a LCD pocket game racing simulator for the 48K Speccy. Sounds ace, doesn't it, eh? So how does it work then?
It all begins with a back story that'll take many of certain age back to the glorious decade of the 1980s, when things were crap, but in a funky skillo sort of way. You are presented with a choice of buying three whole budget games, a Marathon bar and a packet of crisps (I miss Marathon bars - ed), or a pocket LCD game. The idea of having so much power in yer pocket is simply too much to resist, even at such a high price of a tenner!
GO RACE! has two game modes to try, a girly mode (which is set by default), and a more difficult one which is toggled by finding the right key on the rubber-cladding. It is then a case of manoeuvring your F1 alike sports car left or right to avoid the on-coming traffic! Great, eh? Well, not so much.
Whilst the premise of GO RACE! is a good one, there are some slight issues with the implementation. According to our tech boffins at the CGC shed, this sort of game would have probably been better implemented in powerful Sinclair BASIC, which would have balanced the responsiveness and other playability factors more appropriately. I don't know much about that stuff though, I'm more interested in train spotting these days.
Overall then an super concept let down in by too much care and attention in the wrong places.
Summary: Great concept but let down by its implementation
Requires a whole 48K of RAMs!
In a nut-shell: See the world in full colour with this spiffy game!
Developer: Jevilon and thEpOpE
Yawn Sinclair MegaGame
Well here we go folks. Does it get much better than this? A game that fully utilises the superb ZX Spectrum colour palette, but in a minimalist way, so it's not just a great and addictive game that we have, but one that those trendy hipster-types will clearly love as well! Yes, I'm looking at you Chaosmongers.
This is a true game of skill, it's simplistic (like some reviewers on this 'ere website then, eh? - Ed), and, well, just brilliant. The task, once you've selected your skill level as appropriate by pressing a single digit number (presumabely to save typing) followed by the ENTER key, is to match the ever-changing screen colour (referred to as PAPER in BASIC), with the border colour (or BORDER in BASIC). To do so, you must press the any key at the appropriate moment, except of course for the BREAK key. Each time you hit a match, you score a point. Great.
This'll keep you entertained for hours, and even those techies can break into the listing and marvel at it's brilliance because this is a one-liner entry. A well deserved CGC MegaGame if there ever was one. I'm gonna give it another crack!
Summary: Admire the sheer amount of colours on your Speccy, and this has only half of them!
Works on a 16K machine you lucky people.
Space Scarper 2
In a nut-shell: Scarper around Space with this collect-em-up
One thing that the 1980s had in abundance, aside from great home computers such as the Speccy (as well as crap machines like the Commode 64 - Ed) was well original games. I mean, things were so much more original, like Thrust, and... well I'm not able to think of any others right now, but lets imagine that there was nothing like Thrust before Thrust to keep things simple.
Kweepa's Space Scarper 2 is kind of like that in that you have to carefully move around some part of the Galaxy in order to collect things. Except you collect them by basically pointing your Space craft type thingy in the general direction of the collectable thingies. And you power it with enough thrust to do so without hitting any solid walls. Or something.
Before you start though, you're given some options that affect playability, which are Steering, Thrust and Damping. It asks for a number of zero or one (or maybe a floating point number between zero or one, there were no instructions that I remember). So much choice!
This is nothing spectacular, but just good-ish from a usually top developer. Deffo worth a few loads.
Summary: Pretty damn good Gravatar Thrust clone
Another solid 16K game from Kweepa
In a nut-shell: Like Donkeysoft's classic MegaSki, but on paper
Developer: UNSATISFACTORY SOFTWARE
Yawn Sinclair MegaGame
Would you believe it - after the epic and totally addictive Colours reviewed above, Thermal Ski is a mega CGC MegaGame for sure, showing the true gaming potential of Sinclair's toilet-roll-holder-inspired but completely great thermal printer even though the legend that is Sir Clive Sinclair would never approve of using such serious hardware in such a trivial way. Or something.
So, what's it all about then? Well, imagine if you had remote control of a skier but could only see what was going on by viewing a real-time update on a bit of paper that is constantly feeding you information. Where is the Skier anyway? Are there hazards ahead? And is he/she nicely placed between the flags, one to the left and right? No? Turn left... no right... no!!! Such tenseness leads to highly addictive game-play. And the visual output leads to such wonder.
The player is denoted by a capital X and the flags either side are upper-case I. Oh and hitting a flag leads to instance death, so best keep your wits about you then.
Not only is this game thoroughly ace, it's also a great use of the hardware. But don't have a ZX Printer? Fear not, emulators like EightyOne will allow you to simulate it without wasting all of that paper.
Summary: Makes Horace Goes Skiing look like a game for simpletons
A clean sweep for this mega skiing game
In a nut-shell: A tense Russian Roulette simulator
Developer: Darío Ruellan
Darío Ruellan hits back with a great new Russian Roulette simulator imaginatively titled "Russian Roulette", which works on any Speccy.
The game has three exciting modes, single player (against the computer), two human players, and a demo mode, which will automatically begin if there are no keyboard interactions on the title screen.
In all modes, each player takes turns to pull a virtual trigger representing a hand-held firearm. The implication being that this weapon is loaded with blanks in all cases except for one bullet. If you're unlucky enough to pull the trigger and discharge the actual bullet then you die and the other player wins.
The demo mode is most exciting, as you won't know which of the two computer players will be the one to pop its virtual clogs, but there is always tension whilst playing. Will it be you next?
The graphics are very stylish, and the title music is superb. A real beeper masterpiece that any musician will instantly admire. Sound effects are good too. An excellent release. Go get it.
Summary: Dare you take your next go in this tense Russian Roulette simulator?
A great one or two player game, but not for those of a nervous disposition
Not developed by Volker Bartheld
Catch My Balls
In a nut-shell: An excellent one line ball catching action
Minimalist programming doesn't always mean minimalist gaming, and Catch my Balls proves this in abundance, as not only is there some excellent spot sound effects, but also colour-clash-free colour graphics (well, sort of) and even text in the bit of the screen that is usually home to the R Tape loading error, 0:1 message
This all-action arcade game requires you to move the ball catcher to the same vertical position of the on-coming ball. But be aware that the spherical object may not always stay the same course, moving randomly on the vertical plane as it gets closer to your glove. The game continues until you've missed a ball and to replay you will have to remember the BASIC command to re-run the program, so have your ZX Spectrum manual at the ready for that one.
Overall, a fast-paced and addictive game.
Summary: Super fast-paced ball-catching action
In a nut-shell: A gobble-and-grow game for all ages
LD Snake is a 100% Machine Code entry which is simulates the classic gobble-and-grow concept invented in the 1970s and popularised by Nokia's 3310 range of cellular mobile telephones.
This game suffers from slick execution of the running machine code, which is compensated for by a small symmetrical play-area. Collect a yellow food pellet and your snake will grow by the length of said pellet. Touch anything else within and it's game over.
LD Snake is a fairly good attempt at the 40+ year old genre, balancing great graphics with mediocre game-play and a tiny play area for extra toughness.
Summary: Fast pacey slithering action
Advanced Election Simulator
In a nut-shell: An accurate simulation of how Elections work
Democracies around the world seem to be, to put it mildly, somewhat in meltdown whilst satirical writers are having probably amongst the best years of their lives with such easy targets as Theresa "Strong and Stable" May, Donald "Ronald McDonald" Trump and whoever the current Brexit secretary is. But not so for the flagship democracy of Turkey, as Advanced Election Simulator aka 2018 Turkey Presidency Elections Advanced Opposition Simulator allows you to explore.
Starting the game by selecting your political party to run for the Presidency of Turkey, of which there are five to choose, you must then guide it to success; the Patriotic Idiots Party is usually selection. After this, each of the five parties are put to the people in the form of an election, and this is where it gets interesting. You are then given options to influence the next election once the votes have been cast, including ways to commit electoral fraud. Yikes! Each choice will influence voters, and during the next election, purely random events might happen to stop you from winning. Not getting your hands on power will mean that you will eventually die from natural causes.
Advanced Election Simulator aka 2018 Turkey Presidency Elections Advanced Opposition Simulator is a politically intriguing game that'll have you hooked!
Summary: Electioneering has never been so much fun!