Clint And Da Crabs

MatGubbins is back with his second Keyword Challenge entry; CLINT AND DA CRABS, and once again, sneaks in a second (LOAD CLINT & CRABS CODE) to load in a large block of data.

[Looks at program listing…] Hang on… what’s this… machine code? MACHINE CODE!?

MatG clearly has ideas above his station – give him a month or so and he’ll be doing Alcatraz loading screen$ and 128K AY music! Let’s hope the game itself was at least programmed with the assistance of Andrew Green’s UZXSGD?


Keyword Challenge – double strike!


More Chunk-o-vision™ graphics, starting with that PRINT-based ‘loader,’ are included but this time they’re in glorious Color-o-matic™.

After a good 2½ minutes of screeching the instructions appear and, well, it doesn’t look good for our Clint – he’s stranded on a beach and about to be attacked by a giant crab*!

* Anyone who’s been to the Blackpool Sealife museum knows how scary that can be!

Not much more to see here (except some scores and keyboard controls) so it’s on to the game.

Title screen

Look at those keys!? My fingers hurt already


It’s good to see MatG’s use of machine code hasn’t descended into complete madness – he’s stuck with solid UDGs, rather than sprites, moving in comfortable 8×8 block jumps and PRINT statements throughout.

Clint, who also appeared (uncredited) in Return Ink to Move Cat In To A Bin, begins at the top of the screen. Scattered around him are what – I think – are rocks (although they could be turds – Ed.) Coupled with a yellow background and blue border I’d say that passes for a beach. Nicely done.


A red UDG, representing the titular crab(s) (You’ll want to see a doctor about that – Ed,) appears at the bottom of the screen and… SH*T!… it’s heading right for me… FAST!

There’s not much to the AI in this game, the crab just heads towards you in the straightest line possible, and if you move it blindly follows you… FAST!

Luckily you can use this to your advantage as, if you skillfully place yourself behind a rock, you can cause the crab to crash and disappear in a puff of magenta smoke.

Unluckily, however, he’s got friends and very quickly you find yourself being chased by loads of the terrifying little blighters!


Run for your life or you’ll get crabs, or something…


Unfortunately, in his machine code experiments, Mat hasn’t got to the stage where he can muster a decent control system.

Instead we’re left with a cramp-inducing 8 (eight!) directional keys, for which I couldn’t find a comfortable or logical way to position my fingers over simultaneously, meaning I was at an immediate disadvantage against my creepy little pursuers and got to see this screen – a lot!

They got me!

What a chirpy looking Crustacean!


I found this to be a genuinely heart-pounding and traumatic ‘gameplay’ experience as I tried in vain to avoid the crabs while my intertwined barman’s hands ached more with every passing second.

Perhaps you’ll do better and, to be fair, I managed a high score of 10 (Challenge set – Ed) by pure luck in one sitting but, overall, I can’t recommend this game.



  • Graphics: 5
  • Sound: 1
  • Music: 0
  • Gameplay: 2
  • Overall: Decapod out of a possible Centipede!


Download: .tap

MatG’s choice of filename interested me; “clint48only” – suggesting that this only runs on a 48K Speccy? I fired up Fuse in 128K mode and used the Tape Loader and, sure enough, it crashed spectacularly with a B Integer out of range error. Thanks for the warning Mr Gubbins!



  1. Thank you for the Very nice review Myke, but…. machine code? machine code?!? machine bloody code?!!
    Wash your mouth out with pammy anderson’s panties my good sir!
    That magical pixie that you call machine code is infact specially constructed BASIC that is then compiled using HiSoft (the game ran so fast that it required a lot of slowing down).
    There is no way* that I would waste the current limited stockpile of Z80 instructions on a game of this magnitude.
    Did you know that there are only 35,032 LD (HL),A instructions roaming around in the wild? They must be saved for future generations to admire.
    However there are millions upon millions of unused RRD and DAA polluting the atmosphere, with no idea of what they do.

    Yup, it is a 48k only game, I spent a few minutes trying to get the game running in 128k mode, but couldn’t be arsed, so gave a heads-up incase Master Spoons and his +3 gave him trouble.

    * OK, I’ve already submitted a machine code entry (it’s lurking on the crud pile)…. call the WWF and string me up by the nads.

    1. My apologies. Consider this a formal retraction, however, my lawyers will be in touch to come to a reasonable out-of-court settlement.

      1. Also, you lied about final screen. Most of time I see this – YOUR SCORE: 0 🙂

  2. Nice atmosphere & idea, though rendered impossible (for me) due to the QWEASDZXC keys. Good work.

    One of these days I’m going to use the DAA instruction.

    If there’s any stringing up by the nads to be done, then Hulk Hogan is indeed the man to do it.

  3. I wonder if the Z80 DAA is married to the 6502 (zp,X) addressing mode.

  4. >>
    I managed a high score of 10 (Challenge set – Ed)

    Bloody hell did I nearly miss a high score challenge?!

    Due to a fortunate placing of stromatolites I managed a whopping 24.

    Going to risk attempting to link to an image here, which I suspect isn’t possible anyway:


    (carp image inserted by leespoons)

    Also, with all Mat’s talk of DAA, he may have inspired ‘Geoff Capes’ binary code decimal’.

    Be afraid.

    1. Ok. doesn’t need closing and you can’t post .

      I’m an idiot.

      1. Argh I’ve done it again!

        I wish I could edit my posts on this thing.

        What I meant to say is:

        Ok. Bold doesn’t need closing and you can’t post images.

        1. I’ll have a shufty and see if there’s a way you can edit your own posts. It should be possible as you’re using the same email address each time.

  5. Iused the NEG instruction in assts which was rather satisfying. Maybe I’ll work DAA into the next one 🙂

    1. I really should do a disassembly then. Not meaning to diminish ASSTS but I think NEG is used relatively often in things like inertia, DAA is going to need some serious crowbarring though!

      1. I was trying to be clever comparing two numbers when I used NEG but it didn’t really work to get the calculation I wanted so I just changed the rules of the game to match how the code worked instead 😉

  6. And you can post images, at least I can, just use an img src tag (google it, I refuse to believe someone who can write a game like El Stompo can’t get on with basic html :P)

    1. Right then, one more try, here goes:

        1. testing…

          1. That didn’t work so lets try….

            If there is no pic here then that’s a bit of a bugger.

            (edited… I can do it from within wordpress admin, but no other bugger can. Call it a feature, not a bug – leespoons)

  7. Worst CGC ever.

    1. Cheers! Does that mean I’ve won?

    2. What, even worse than 2013?!

Comments are closed.