The comp.sys.sinclair crap games competition 2015 -

it's crap! In a funky skillo sort of a way.

Rosco The Cat 2: Egyptian HiJinx

You’d be forgiven for thinking this blog had turned into the ramblings of a crazy cat man lately. First MatGubbins’ keyword challenge entry starring Mr. Fluffykins and Steve the cat, then a game written by a cat (catmeows), and now this moggy-based game from Jamie Bradbury, the sequel to 2013’s Rosco The Cat Burglar In Cyprus Extraction. As I recall, the original game was a pretty BASIC UDG affair in which you (the titular Rosco the Cat) had to wander around the screen collecting as much money as you can whilst avoiding a badly-drawn dog thingy. So I’m thrilled to bits to report that in this sequel you have to wander around the screen collecting as much money as you can whilst avoiding two badly-drawn dog thingies!

Jamie immediately wins a ton of bonus crap points for his choice of filename – rather than “ROSCO THE CAT 2”, which would’ve been a 10-character Keyword Challenge entry, he’s plumped for “loaderr2”. Well done! There’s quite a nice loading screen too, and Jamie’s thoughtfully obliterated part of it with the next block of code (another surefire way to win crap points):

Rosco2EH1

Once the game has loaded there’s an instructions screen (badly word wrapped, natch) with a rather jaunty tune reminiscent of Everyone’s A Wally – clearly Jamie has some musical talent, although a BEEPy rendition of Walk Like An Egyptian wouldn’t have gone amiss. He’s already proven he can write a crap game in BASIC – but can he do it in machine code?

Rosco2EH3

The game starts and immediately proves that he can! Rosco the pixellated puss has definitely got bigger in the last two years – in fact he’s four times his original size. He’s stuck in an Egyptian tomb forever with only a couple of hell hounds and the bitter taste of his own greedy tears for company, and his mission before he dies is to grab as much loot as he can to take to the afterlife and become the richest cat in heaven. Clearly his granny never told him “You can’t take it with you”.

Being a cat, Rosco has nine lives – which is lucky, as those hell hounds are very tricky to avoid. Jamie has chosen WSAD as the (non-redefinable) key combination of choice, which is probably fine if you’re left-handed or were born later than 1979, but useless for old fogeys like me who are used to QAOP. Tch. Bloody hipsters and their silly key combinations and disk images and new-fangled Amstrad copyright messages.

The game actually isn’t half bad – or at least the programming of it isn’t. The sprites move as smoothly as any game from 1984 (I’m not sure whether the author used AGD but either way it’s miles better than the usual blocky BASIC), the cat wiggles his tail about in a fairly feline fashion, and the hell hounds look far more like dogs than the mutant Sticklebrick of the previous game. There’s no sound, but you could always record the title tune onto tape and play it over and over again while Rosco gets killed by the dogs over and over again. But on the crap side, there’s no real point to the game other than collecting loads of wonga – it’s not as if poor Rosco can spend or even eat his dollars, as he can’t escape – and look at what happens once you’ve lost all of your lives:

Rosco2EH5

That’s right, it returns to BASIC! You’ve played the game once, so why on earth would you want to play the thing again? A very good question. But despite the general whiff of cat shit I can’t help thinking there’s a good game in here waiting to escape – a bit like Rosco himself.

Score: 9 lives out of 100.

Download .tap here.

17 Comments

  1. Devil hounds indeed, those are Scottie Dogs.
    Bonus points awarded for when the collectable money falls onto the pillar and it can’t be collected.
    In the real world those dogs would just be sniffing each others butts and ignoring the cat.

    Being born in 1972 and left handed I find that the WASD are very easy to use. Get with the times daddy-o. I do agree that the Amstrad message and the disc drive thingy is a magical pixie and should be burned for witchcraft.

    Yup, Granny was right, you can’t take it with you.

    1. It’s funny, I’ve been happy using cursor keys for years, and I can see that WASD is the same layout, but it just feels wrong, even when I use my right hand. (F’nar! Ed.) I think it’s also because my nine-year-old son uses WASD when playing Minecraft, so I’ve just written it off as something I’m too old to understand, like selfie sticks or Radio One.

      1. WASD IS TEH BEST U FAGET!!!! LEAWRN 2 PLAY

        1. Cor!
          Unbelievably, you’re right!
          No longer will I use QAOP. I will try WASD.
          Thanks
          !

          1. The preference of a key combination seems to vary between different systems. Speccy people swear by QAOP, Tandy people appear to stick with WASZ, Beebers at least like L: or L; for vertical movement, I grew up with UHJN on the VIC but many variants exist, PC gamers mimic the cursor keys with WASD and so on.

          2. I don’t know why I can’t reply to Carlsson… but…

            On the C16 (and probably the *spit* C64), the favoured combo was something like ZX/;

            I don’t know if this was a subliminal attempt by the software houses to promote the Speccy.

          3. Interesting, it seems the comment function only supports five levels of depth.

          4. I’m replying to this in the WordPress admin. Not sure if it’ll work, but here goes:

            Test, please ignore!

            edit – it didn’t work. Curses!

          5. (to Chris) I remember a few Speccy games by Gremlin used ZXOK – never thought of it in that way before!

            (I’ll see if I can change the replies thing, could end up with some
            interestingly-formatted
            posts
            along
            the
            line
            of
            this
            though)

        2. Chortle! Where’s that ‘thumbs up’ thing like you get on Youtube?

          Err I mean GAYYYESSST POSTTT EVAHHHHHH! ZXOK ROOOLLZZZZZ.

  2. Rosco returns! And quite playable – Bah! (& I don’t even know what a selfie stick is).

    This is AGD innit? Jonathan will be weeping into his homebrew.

    I wonder if the number of ‘Hell Hounds’ will double or increase by one every time in future releases…

    1. I hope Jamie reads up on Richard Herring’s Ferrero Rocher Pyramid before deciding whether to double the dogs or add one…

      (and, not knowing what a Selfie Stick is… I envy you. Stay under that rock for as long as you can.)

      1. That’s a lovely take on the wheat&chessboard (which I must confess I first heard of via Bloodbaz’s 2010 CGC).

        Heh I hope he goes for it, though he’ll need some pretty optimised code by Rosco 8!

        I could google ‘selfie stick’ now I’m not at work, but I think I’m going to choose to live in ignorance..

        1. Dammit! I can’t do html and can’t edit the above post!

          I meant to say Bloodbaz’s 2010 CGC

          http://csscgc2010.zxlife.net/Games.aspx#L31

          Now I look like some kind of goddam fool.

          1. Don’t worry, I’ve edited it for you. I could delete your second post so you don’t look like some kind of goddam fool, but then this post would make no sense either and make me look like some kind of goddam fool, so I’ll leave it as it is.

  3. Cheers for sorting that Lee 🙂

    Short of sitting down and learning what these ‘HTML tags and attributes’ actually do, there’s literally nothing I can do.

    (Though if push came to shove I’d prefer it if you looked the goddam fool)

  4. I’ve just spotted about three spelling mistakes in my review of Advanced UDG Creator. Well I suppose it compensates for the lack of spelling mistakes in the actual “utiltiy”!

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