The comp.sys.sinclair crap games competition 2015 -

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

Tag: Jamie Bradbury

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.

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