Billy Armstrong, 13, from Middlesbrough writes to Sqij Corner this week concerned that some “obviously-not-so-die-hard” CSSCGC followers might have missed out on one of the highlights of recent Chris Young multi-load epic; Europe-Vision 2015.
Unfortunately we can’t print his letter in full as, due to the sheer number of colourful metaphors he chose to employ on a single sheet of A4, the necessary censorship would render it incomprehensible.
The gist, however, was that the users in question may have prematurely reset their virtual Spectrums after only a handful of songs (that’s optimistic – Ed) and not had time to fully appreciate the time that Chris had obviously spent keying in the Chunkels™ for the 40 Nation’s flags.
Fear not though, Billy, as Chris is back with this Edutainment entry which caters nicely for the very same “lazy ****head casual ****ing gamer” audience you were referring to.
This is altogether a much simpler affair than Chris’ previous entry (which is not necessarily just a nice way of saying “hastily knocked-up” – Ed) and begins with this hastily knocked-up (Oh – Ed) map of Europe.
After selecting “how many questions” you would like it’s straight into the game with one of the 40 flags randomly selected and displayed at the top of the screen. At the bottom you’re prompted to enter the name of the country to which it belongs.
Simple stuff; type the correct answer and hit Enter. Get it wrong and the Spectrum gives you an angry BEEP, but get it right and you’re rewarded with aural pleasure (Wha-huh? Ed.)
Unfortunately, even if you’re referring to this handy ‘High Definition’ flag chart, the necessary pixilation that has occurred rendering the flag into a 6×4 Chunk-o-vision™®©(pat. pending) block means that you’re probably going to struggle to recognize all but the simplest of them.
The REM statements in Chris’ BASIC show that he at least considered this problem with comments such as “UDG may be required?” and “same as Austria.”
But let’s say, for the sake of argument, you’ve done your homework (or cheated – Ed,) squinted and/or even guessed correctly. Is there any reason why you still might get the answer wrong? Why yes:-
- As noted above, some flags look almost identical, i.e.: Latvia and Austria separated only by a BRIGHT flag.
- Spectrum BASIC doesn’t provide an easy UCASE / UPPER-type function to make case insensitive string comparison easy (Today’s programmers don’t know they’re born! – Ed.) Chris could have knocked one together, or even locked the CAPS on with a quick POKE, but alas, didn’t bother so just remember to type everything in CAPITALS as if you were speaking to an elderly relative.
- The String$ Array used to hold the country names is too short leading to a couple of country names being truncated, for example, if you typed “SWITZERLAND” then you’d be wrong (even if you were right) as it should be “SWITZERLAN”.
All of this makes for a surprisingly challenging game, even when cheating, and one that I’d like to say I enjoyed.
Eventually you get to the end of your self-imposed questions, your score is displayed (for better or worse) and the program ends in abrupt STOP (much like this review – Ed.)
Score: 1 out of 4-letter words from Billy.
UPDATE: I phoned Billy’s Mum to talk to her about his foul language, however, it turns out she’s also got a bit of a potty-mouth and told me “where I could take my opinions” with surprisingly little ambiguity.
Set the number of questions to 100 and then record an RZX of your answers.
The first person to send in a competition-grade RZX correctly identifying all 100 flags in sequence will win a signed poster of Gerri Halliwell wearing that dodgy Union Jack dress from back in the 90s!