The comp.sys.sinclair crap games competition 2015 -

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

Tag: myke-p

Kamikaze Karaoke Shootout! Trak Pak – Xmas Edition

Remember Kamikaze Karaoke Shootout? I’ve spent the last month trying to forget about it, but Myke-P just won’t let me, with this additional pack (sorry, Trak Pak) of Christmas (s)hits. You know that sinking feeling you get when you’re at work, and it’s five to five on a Friday evening, and you’re just about to go down the pub, and then your boss walks past your desk and goes “Oh, if I could just have that sales report on my desk by seventeen hundred hours today, there’s a good chap”? That’s what it felt like when I read the “Oh, and by the way” at the very bottom of Myke’s email about his last game, “The“.

It’s a cover tape bonus, so I won’t waste too much time on it, as I’ve still got one last proper game (remember those? Proper ZX Spectrum games? No, me neither) to review. In the tradition of bonus giveaways like Moley Christmas, Myke was commissioned to make this by Your World of Comp.Sys.Sinclair Spectrum User magazine, a publication I’m not familiar with, but I’m sure is even funkier, twice as skillo and infinitely more crapola than the competition (Your Sinkplunger, Computer & Vegetable Games and so on)

ywocs3u-xmastape

Merry Christmas! Today is January 14th. I feel about as Christmassy as Wham did in their video for Club Tropicana. I ran out of pickled walnuts on Boxing Day, I have no interest in my colleagues’ leftover Christmas cake, and if anyone so much as whistles half a bar of that godawful Paul McCartney song within earshot, I’m liable to punch them in the baubles. Mind you, that applies at any time of year.

Right. As this is a Trak Pak and not a proper game (and I’ve already wasted 250-odd words on it) you’ll need your original copy of Karaoke Kamikaze Shootout. This can be found here. Then load it in, stick the Christmas tzx thingy in the festive virtual wossname, read the on-screen instructions (which to Myke’s credit are very easy to follow – he’s certainly aware of the mental capacity of his target audience) and marvel at the awful beepy rendition of whichever Chrimble tune Myke chose to, erm, rend. Rendite. Renditionize?

Is that 400 words yet? Oh, that’ll do. It’s not as if it hasn’t already been reviewed once. Either play the thing now and feel all nostalgic for three weeks ago when it was actually Christmas, or shove it in the attic until the middle of November and then go “What’s this crap?” and throw it away.

Download tzx here.

The Easter Bunny has to water the garden with a bad cough by firstly figuring out the controls

Picture the scene. The date: early January, 2016. The location: Sqij Towers. It’s a lonely place now. Everyone’s packed up and gone home. BloodBaz has gone back to his day job as taster of finest ales, Myke-P has joined a Beastie Boys tribute act, and as for DeKay, I’ve made sure to notify the police that he’s on the loose again. And if I peer at the horizon I can just make out the smoke from Chris Young’s beloved 1985 Vauxhall Skova (a cross between a Skoda and a Nova, with none of the redeeming features of both) as he makes the tortuous 17-hour journey over the wooden hills to Bedfordshire. Time to make myself a cup of strong coffee and review the last couple of games, then… hang on a minute, what’s happened to the Sqij Towers finest cutlery? Chris! CHRIS! Get back here, y’bast!

So (having followed Chris’s Czechoslovenian deathmobile at a light amble and retrieved my spoons) there’s just little old me and the last couple of games now. I can see why the ex-Sqij Towers residents have left this one, although to be fair to Myke, I couldn’t ask him to review his own game. It’s a bloody ZX81 effort again, which means I have to dust off the EightyOne emulator. Again. Oh joy! I’m almost nostalgic for the days of Sunteam and his +3 disks! Almost.

The Easter Bunny has to water the garden with a bad cough by firstly figuring out the controls, then. I considered leaving the review until Easter, which is only a couple of months away, but as I can’t remember if I paid for a years’ hosting or two years, I suppose I’d better get on with it. “TEBHTWTGWABCBFFOTC” – no, even that’s too long – “The”, as The Easter Bunny has to water the garden with a bad cough by firstly figuring out the controls shall henceforth be known, is a game in which you are the Easter Bunny and you have to water your garden with a bad cough by firstly figuring out the controls. At least I think it is. I haven’t managed to find EightyOne yet. Where the hell did I put it?

While I’m looking for it, I’ll take the advice Myke gave me a couple of days ago – “guess what the game will be and then play it to see if you were right”. Well, as “The” is a ZX81 game, I’m guessing it’ll be an explosion of colour and cacophony of multichannel sound, and not a piece of monochrome, sluggish crap featuring a blocky representation of the Easter Bunny that looks more like a cockroach.

I’ve found EightyOne now, it was in a folder marked “Kitchen Drawer” along with PetrolReceiptFrom2011.jpg, OldMobilePhoneCharger.exe, and 17DeadAABatteries.rar. Should’ve looked there in the first place.

EasterBunny01

Well, whaddaya know? “The” is not a piece of monochrome, sluggish crap featuring a blocky representation of the Easter Bunny that looks more like a cockroach at all! It’s actually a piece of monochrome, sluggish crap featuring a blocky representation of the Easter Bunny that looks more like a beetle!

EasterBunny02

I certainly wouldn’t want to meet this particular character on a dark night, anyway. Myke hasn’t included any instructions, but if you have a logical brain, you’ll work out the controls and the aim of the game soon enough. Unfortunately I don’t have a logical brain (why else would I have agreed to host this competition?), so I spend seventeen minutes jabbing at keys, some of which I think might be doing something, but it’s hard to tell because the rabbit/beetle/mutant termite thingy disappears every time.

This is Myke’s first ZX81 game. It’d be churlish of me to follow that statement with “…and it shows!”, and I suppose we’ve all got to start somewhere, but stick to Speccy games next time, eh?

Score: -81%

Download .p file here.

Kamikaze Karaoke Shootout

In a fit of efficiency, I’ve started writing this review ON THE DAY Sqij’s own Myke-P sent it in. He has already completed the forfeit of reviewing some other piece of crap before I even had chance to “suggest” he “might want to help Lee out a bit”, and since I’d bothered to actually have a go on the damn thing it seemed only fair to make some sort of attempt to review it.

But who will win Kamikaze Shoot-out? PLACE BETS NOW!

But who will win Kamikaze Shoot-out? PLACE BETS NOW!

Like the greatest games and movie releases, Kamikaze Karaoke Shootout was announced way before it was any more than a title, and Myke has been beavering away on it for at least a year and a half, which is way more than the average CSSCGC entry. Although, having said that, when I was the host in 2007, I was sent rather a lot of games that had been written back in the 1980s, some of which hadn’t even been finished after twenty years or so (Rickard Berglind’s Haunted House, I’m looking at you)

Come on! Bet! Bet! Bet!

Come on! Bet! Bet! Bet!

Anyway, KKS only existed because of a Videogame Name Generator which I hadn’t noticed, or perhaps had forgotten, existed. I gave it a whirl, and my next CGC entry will be called “Enormous Kabuki Underground” (That sounds like a shit nightclub. Ed), or “Monty Python’s Unicorn Beta” (I think that was on Radio 4. Ed) or maybe “Create Your Own Assault Raider” (That’s a Partworks series out January. Ed), or even “Post-Apocalyptic Racing in the Middle East” (They show that late night on Channel 5. Ed), or perhaps “Fantastic Blade Collection” (That’s also a Partworks series, are you sure this isn’t a Partworks idea generator? Ed). A-Ha! “Deranged Plumber Experience”, now that’s finally a game I can get behind! (Facebook. Ed) “Boring Stick Knights”? (You wrote that way back in 2001. Ed) “Sexy Monster Tournament”? (Give up. Ed)*

BETTING ENDS!

BETTING ENDS!

Thankfully, Kamikaze Karaoke Shootout is what Myke settled on, and it’s… woefully competent (you can use that quote on the box), sort of SingStar meets HIGNFY’s missing words round.

I’ve never played SingStar, but I have played Guitar Hero, which has a singing option (which I’ve never tried as I don’t own a USB mic). KKS has a bit of a Guitar Hero vibe to it, so I imagine the lead singer bit of Guitar Hero is pretty much the same as in KKS, just at Glastonbury instead of a dive in Croydon.

I’ve also “performed” actual karaoke, and this is a fairly accurate simulation of that experience, albeit one that is hosted by a sadist who has removed random words from the song lyrics.

Das ist ROCKMEISTER!

Das ist ROCKMEISTER!

Quite simply, you sing along to the song using the lyrics provided (this step is entirely optional). Myke has helpfully not provided the complete tracks usually present on Side B of the cassette tape, so you’ll need to find your own copies (or not bother; playing the backing track is entirely optional). It’s a shame the game doesn’t play a crap beeper or AY rendition of the song in question, but I suspect memory is a bit tight – it’s a multi-load as it is. There are four songs to choose from in the “base game” (more on that later), only two of which I immediately recognised.

Let's ROCK!

Let’s ROCK!

Every two screens’ worth of lyrics there is a word missing. On screen is a multiple choice option as to what it could be. If you “sing” the correct word the little Kamikaze singer gets increasingly more animated, and you get a whole bunch of points to boot. Repeatedly getting the lyrics right, and getting them early, nets you more points, Guitar Hero-style. Sing the wrong word and the crowd boos you off stage (probably) and you have to work your way up to the big multipliers again. The multipliers aren’t shown on screen (although the enthusiasm emanating from the little guy might offer some clue as to what it is), which is a bit of an oversight, but otherwise the presentation is lovely and functional, and looks the part of a karaoke machine.

At the end of the game, again Guitar Hero style (I’m sure the letters from Activision’s lawyers are in the post), you get to see your lyric streak and how well you did.

YOUCH!

YOUCH!

In a move befitting of an EA wannabe, the game also offers what the kids are calling “DLC”. This is overpriced extra content which should have come with the game but, for extortion reasons, didn’t. One hooky copy of a so-called “Trak:Pak” is included. I’m not sure why it’s a hooky copy since Myke wrote it and he’s the one who sent us our review copy, but it turns out this pack contains “Ballads”. What will it be? I love a power ballad. Maybe there’s a bit of Cher or something in it? With some trepidation I loaded it up.

James Blunt! (we all remember that weapon in Frogger)

James Blunt! (We all remember that weapon in Frogger)

I quickly reset the Spectrum having realised why Myke wasn’t taking full responsibility for this Trak:Pak TZX. I can’t help thinking a Christmas Trak:Pak would have been a better cash-in for this time of year.

All Myke needs to do is port this to PS4 and add a speech recognition routine (instead of the multiple-choice-’em-up), and he’s got next Christmas’ hit game. I can almost hear Activision wishing they’d thought of it first.

Score: 99 red balloons out of 9,000,000 bicycles
Download: .zip

* Incidentally, European Sandwich Hunter is coming to a WHSmith near you soon… probably… except I got the name wrong.

Jeremy Clarkson’s Top Shelf Challenge

MykeP joins the CSSCGC Remake Challenge with this re-imagining of Derek Jolly‘s cult hit, Top Shelf Challenge.

Top Gear Challenge!

Top Gear Challenge!

For those of you living under a rock for the past fifteen years, the original TSC had you playing as a spotty teenager in your local branch of John Menzies, trying to get a shufty of the jazz mags without the built-like-a-brick-shithouse of a newsagent catching you and throwing you out of the shop by your ear. Should you succeed you were rewarded with some gratuitous 8-bit nudity which we can only assume Derek didn’t enjoy searching for on Altavista.

The game was such an unexpected success that Derek released a number of cash-in sequels, the last of which had you searching for porn stashes in the bushes. The other sequels nobody remembers anything about. One of them may have been in colour.

Menu screen

Menu screen

Needless to say, Myke has upped the stakes with this remake and tried to make it into the game it should have been. Rather than the original text-adventure style, we now have the entire shop layout graphically presented, with the shopkeeper reading the Racing Post between checking for shoplifters and spotty oiks. Other customers come and go through inter-dimensional time portals. The layout of magazines on the shelves are randomly generated, although alas it’s not possible to walk around – I assume you’ve already figured out where the magazines of interest are and if you wander off you’re likely to only end up flicking through Gardener’s World or Your Sinclair or something. (I normally hide Sinclair User in the pages of Playboy to avoid embarrassment – Ed)

Come on Birdseye, clear off!

Come on Birdseye, clear off!

You also play as Jeremy Clarkson. Yes, this is called Jeremy Clarkson’s Top Gear – erm, I mean Shelf – Challenge for precisely that reason. Instead of browsing through Razzle you’re checking out the hotties standing next to a highly-polished supercar. Quite why the newsie frowns upon this is not explained, as it’s not 18-rated stuff. Perhaps the young Jeremy gets his cock out or something.

Anyway, once the coast is clear merely pressing a key is enough to whip What Car? Magazine off the shelf, and get an eyeful of the glamorous scantily-clad leggy blonde draped over the bonnet of a Ferrari, in glorious Chunk-o-vision.

This girl is rather overdressed for the game.

This girl is rather overdressed for the game.

Yes, it may be a bit of a shock, but Myke has gone for high colour chunky pixels comprising non-naked ladies, as opposed to the excessive higher definition albeit monochromatic everything-on-show visual feast of the original. As a result, even if everything was on show you wouldn’t be able to tell what it was that was being shown – it’s like Myke has employed Mary Whitehouse to pixellate the naughty bits and, of course, she’s determined the entire picture is objectionable.

This is what you see if you activate "safe mode".  Filth!

This is what you see if you activate “safe mode”. Filth!

Despite this, there’s even a “safer for work” mode. As an employee in a modern office, I can assure you that every desk these days is equipped with a ZX Spectrum. You wouldn’t want to get caught playing MykeP’s UDG Strip Snap, but this – oh, yes – it’s as office-friendly as you can get.

I’m not entirely convinced about the historical accuracy of this game. Jezza’s getting on a bit now, and it seems likely that he was well into his twenties by the time these cars were released. Also there’s a National Lottery logo on the door of the shop, which sets it in the 1990s at the earliest.

Get out of my shop!

Get out of my shop!

Jeremy Clarkson’s Top Shelf Challenge is everything the original should have been, and less. The original worked, because it was a game that promised risqué content without the tedium of playing poker against Sam Fox. This improves the core game, but manages to remove the main reason why you’d want to play it.

Score: 1 nipple out of two (if you squint a bit)
Download: .tzx

Grand Prix 2015

Sqij Towers’ very own Myke-P submitted this game, rather belatedly, for the Worst Game in the World restoration challenge he set for last year’s CGC (somebody should tell him that challenge isn’t still running – Ed). I was wondering whether we should leave it up to Myke to review his game himself, for that full CSSCGC 2014 feel, but I needed a break from Bloodborne (more on that later – much later) so here we are.

Myke Pickstock: Sounds a bit like My Pit Stop.

Myke Pickstock: Sounds a bit like My Pit Stop.


This game is truly a work of art. It’s just… beautiful. In the summary of this game in his WGitW feature, Myke does comment that he may have “oversold the graphical flair”. This fully fleshed out version brings even more graphical flair. Just look at the screenshots! When the competition finishes, the author intends to put on an exhibition and sell the original oil canvas paintings for £499 a pop. Framed prints will be a more reasonable £29.99, and copies of the game mere pocket money at £11.99. Fans of comp.sys.sinclair’s chocolate-based economy will be pleased to hear that Myke will accept Rolos, but only for bribes. (I have it on good authority that Lee gives higher marks to games submitted on +3 disks – Ed)

And... they're off!  I mean, "start your engines!"

And… they’re off! I mean, “start your engines!”


I have a passing interest in Formula 1, I don’t really know too much about it, but watch on occasion and have probably been around the track on Nigel Mansell’s Grand Prix more often than Nigel himself has in real life.

Thankfully a knowledge of Formula 1 is not required to enjoy this game. In fact, it would probably be detrimental.

Won by a nose! I mean, er, wheel. Or something.

Won by a nose! I mean, er, wheel. Or something.


It’s your basic horse racing betting game, but with cars, and no bets. It’s also two player only, so as I live on my own, I enlisted the help of Lachlan (the knitted lemming from my Twitter profile pic, fact fans) to play player two. The track is… uninspired. It’s more like a drag race (note to self: crap game idea involving men in drag running) as there are no twists and turns, no pitstops and a distinct lack of anything that embodies F1 at all.

Bit confused that I seem to have been driving the car, rather than just betting on the outcome.

Bit confused that I seem to have been driving the car, rather than just betting on the outcome…


I did initially wonder whether this was one of those horse racing betting games (but with “iron horses” – Ed) (aren’t they trains? – Sub Ed) that cheats so you can never win. After about four races I discovered that actually it wasn’t and even ended up cheering my car on to make it go faster. Lachlan just stared nonchalantly and ended up losing 2-1, which I take to mean that shouting at your Speccy does have a positive impact on the random number generator.

...but I seem to have won, so who cares?

…but I seem to have won, so who cares?


Is it the Worst Game in the World? It’s the pits (*groan* – Reader’s voice) but, no, not even close, and no amount of Rolo bribes will convince me otherwise. Although the repetitive unskippable beeper tune did make me switch my speakers off eventually.

Score: DNF

Download .tzx

©2015 Sinclair Research Ltd sqij.co.uk