The comp.sys.sinclair crap games competition 2015 -

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

Protect and Survive: Threads: The Computer Game

Right, let’s get this over and done with. These games are starting to get on my tits now, I mean, we’re well into 2016 and the competition should have closed already.

Oh, hello readers. Didn’t see you there, due to the nuclear fallout damaging my eyesight and/or giving me six arms or whatever, but it’s OK as hiding under the table with a tin of beans has largely helped me get out of the bombing unscathed.

This screen loads in two code blocks and stays up for precisely less than the amount of time you need to read it (unless you're loading at Actual Speed, you weirdo).

This screen loads in two code blocks and stays up for precisely less than the amount of time you need to read it (unless you’re loading at Actual Speed, you weirdo).

Yes: this is Protect and Survive: Threads: The Computer Game, which I’m going to call Protect and Survive, Threads or PAS:T:TCG interchangeably at will.

It’s GReW‘s latest effort, and it’s based on the Threads TV show from the 80s. I don’t think I ever saw Threads, however it was repeated on BBC4 some years back and I taped it, and then didn’t bother to watch it. It’s probably in the loft now. I’m not sure it matters, the basic gist of the game is there’s a nuclear war on, and you’ve hidden in the cupboard under the stairs with – apparently – a bed, a cooker, the world’s biggest bottle of water and a latrine (as GrEw politely calls it).

My beautiful house.

My beautiful house.

There doesn’t appear to be any food, and I couldn’t get the cooker to do much – probably because the nuclear blast has cut off both the electricity and gas. I could, however, use the lavatory at my pleasure, wipe my arse as much as I liked, and go to sleep. Well, I could go to sleep once, and then the game would insist I wasn’t tired. Oh, there’s also a door, but you can’t go out that way.

My beautiful house. *sob* Excuse me, I've got a bit of radioactive isotope in my eye...

My beautiful house. *sob* Excuse me, I’ve got a bit of radioactive isotope in my eye…

It’s all rendered in 3D Speccyvision (aka Freescape), Total Eclipse-style, and just like Total Eclipse I don’t really know what I’m supposed to be doing, don’t know how to do it and am probably going to get very old before I walk all the way over to the only object I can see at less than one frame a second.

I’m being unkind, the 3D works very well and is quick. It’s a little too technically competent for the CGC (although appears to be created with 3D Construction Kit, so not that technically competent), but thankfully gREW doesn’t appear to have put any gameplay in, so that’s OK.

Even in the Nuclear Winter, there's no excuse for poor hygiene.

Even in the Nuclear Winter, there’s no excuse for poor hygiene.

As far as I can tell, you can either wait until you get radiation poisoning and die, or you can wait until your health deteriorates so much that you die. I drank all the water, cranked the emulator up to max and took the former way out. (You can also unplug the Speccy, which is quicker. Ed)

Of course the irony is that you wouldn’t be able to play this whilst waiting for the bombs to fall, as it takes precisely one-and-a-half minutes longer to load than the four minute warning allows.

I advise playing this directly after Gardener of Doom, for the full apocalyptic experience. Actually I don’t advise that at all, I think that’s the radiation sickness talking.

Score: One tin of SPAM out of an arbitrary amount of tins of corned beef.
Download: .tzx

7 Comments

  1. It’s not a cooker! Its quite clearly a suitcase full of tins of slightly irradiated baked-beans.

    Also, you can only go to sleep before 15:59. This is to accurately simulate the disruption to your circadian rhythm caused by both stress and the lack of daylight following a nuclear explosion. The fact that this also made the sleep routine far easier to code is entirely co-incidental 🙂

    1. It doesn’t look anything like a suitcase full of tins of beans, but a free-standing cooker with a lid. I was going to provide supporting evidence, but it appears that I didn’t actually take a screenshot of said suitcase, and there’s no way I’m putting myself through that again to get one.

      Besides which, if that’s the beans, what am I going to cook them on? You haven’t thought this through and clearly haven’t paid proper attention to your “Protect+Survive” booklet.

      Also there’s no tin opener.

      I hope for your sake there’s not a nuclear war. (Erm… Ed)

      1. Fair point, if only I hadn’t squandered valuable polygons on the toilet paper, there might have been space left for a handle on the suitcase.

        The lack of tin-opener is deliberate. The Protect and Survive booklet says you need 30 days worth of food in your shelter. If I had a tin opener, those five tins of beans will last me less than a week.

        However, if I have to spend six days clawing each tin open using my bare hands (or feet, teeth, eye-socket etc.) then they’ll last for thirty days. Problem solved.

        1. If all you had to eat was 5 tins of beans, and you had a tin opener which resulted in you eating them all in less than a week, would you not gas yourself to death in that locked room?

          1. Save your philosophy for the tap room Erwin Shrodinger :-p

          2. Ok I’ve played this game now. Ate beans, drank water, used the latrine, wrestled with the door, slept, searched the suitcase and the bed, and died of both starvation and radiation poisoning. While this entry is deliberately lacking in gameplay, learning the control keys was a game in its own right. I must say, the production values of this 3D Kit creation are outstanding, especially the game intro. I had fun playing this.

    2. Garry,
      I’m about to settle down and play this game on my Fuze emulator. The game appears to be made with the 3D Construction Kit, except that you seem to have applied custom key controls. Fascinating. I wonder, did you apply any other custom modifications beyond the 3D Construction Kit editor?
      By the way, it would be a good idea to preserve your game with all the other 3D Construction Kit creations at the unofficial 3D Construction Kit website at http://www.3dconstructionkit.co.uk/
      Thanks for creating this game.

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