On first glance this is a variation on the rash of translation utilities from previous CGCs, I’m not sure if Simon Ferré‘s latest pile of dingo doings is influenced by my own Teach Yerself Australian – but if I find out he’s pinched my idea I’ll belt ‘im in the billabong with a wet wallaby, Bruce! Ahem.
A short block is loaded with the instructions. Apparently they do it differently down under – but put your Finbarr Saunders pictures away, I’m on about touch typing! This “game” (and I suppose it loosely constitutes a game) will certainly help you if you ever find yourself working as a secretary in Wagga Wagga or Wollonggong. After letting the instructions sink in for a moment, they suddenly change before the second block is loaded:
What the hell is that? Some sort of ancient Aboriginal script? I was expecting it to be similar to the aforementioned Teach Yerself Australian, the “joke” being Australia is on the other side of the world and hence everyone’s upside-down. ɹɐɥ ʎpoolq ǝp ɹɐɥ ‘ɥO. But looking at it the other way up reveals it’s actually upside-down and back-to-front, like Australian mirror writing. I quickly grab a mirror, to make the writing the right way round – but I’m very disappointed when I turn the mirror upside down and the writing stays the same. Bah. Useless!
A short introduction, and then we’re away! I can see the word “NOM” flashing at the bottom of the screen in a strange back-to-front way. Perhaps my Spectrum is hungry. Oh hang on, it says “NOW” doesn’t it? I’d better start typing… what the hell does that say? Looks a little bit like “g p!a taf tlh trem ph” with some extra bits here and there. Or maybe it’s…
A big fat fly flew by! Of course! Now one of the endearing things about this game is it doesn’t allow you to type the wrong answer – it just does nothing until you hit the correct key. So although you’re playing against the clock, the game can easily be beaten just by bashing away at the keyboard. In practice, once I’d worked out that the “g” was an “a” and got the hang of my “p” and “b”, I found this pretty easy with a bit of educated guesswork. In fact, I’d go so far as to say this topsy-turvy backsy-frontsy font is still marginally easier to decipher than the custom designed one on Simon’s last CGC entry!
However, it’s still a crap game for the following reason. Beyond the “ha ha, Australians are all upside-down” joke, it has absolutely bugger-all to do with Australia. There’s no pixellated Kylie Minogue (shame), no beepy version of Men At Work’s Down Under, not even one solitary reference to kangaroos or cans of Castlemaine Four X! Strewth! Chuck another crap game in the thunderbox, Sheila!
Score: 52% (that’s 25%, but written upside-down)
Download .tap here.