Developer 1: “So I think we’ve finally finished the Tutorial mission, sir.”
Manager: “Wow! It looks great, but… How long does it take to complete?”
Developer 2: “Only 15 hours or so, sir?”
Manager: “What!? That’s nowhere near long enough… Throw in a couple of save points, a mini boss battle and a task that means you have to trudge back and forth across the whole level a couple of times – you need to be aiming for at least 2 days!”
Developer 1: “Yes sir, sorry sir.”
Developer 2: (smugly) “Told you!”


I’m not saying modern games are rubbish, or dumbed-down to the point my Auntie can play them (she sure loves murdering those hookers in Vice City – Ed) but there are definitely a few trends, no doubt brought in by Marketing Departments, Business Analytics and Social Meeeeeedjaaaa that I, personally, could do without, i.e.: Freemium, DLC, Sharing every high score on Facebook, App Updates every ten minutes etc.

Achievements, by Sqij Tower’s very own Chris Young, makes fun of another now-familiar experience in modern gaming where we’re presented with an award every five minutes for anything and everything from simply finishing Level 3, to running around in a circle until the NPCs get dizzy and fall over in an amusing fashion!

In fact, no sooner than the game finishes loading, I score my first achievement! Game Loaded. Well done me!

Well Done!

Achievement Unlocked! Game Loaded


The game itself* is a sort of Rogue-a-like-affair, a bit like last year’s Hobohemia, but not as pretty looking. I start off by selecting and naming my Elf character – for which, naturally, I am congratulated. (Good job, player 1! – Ed)

Next I find myself in Kent, on the 20th March 2015, unable to see much of anything and unsure of what exactly I’m supposed to be doing. In fact, before I even make out the flickering UDGs, I am set upon by a chuffing great dragon! Achievement Unlocked!

Personally I favour whacking things with a big sword, rather than doing card tricks, but on this occasion I decide to try my hand at some magic. Achievement Unlocked!

Cast a Spell

Achievement Unlocked! Used Magic


A few spells and the odd whack later and the dragon is slain (Achievement Unlocked!) I return to the fog and venture a guess at QAOP to move my little stick-Elf – which works and I’m instantly rewarded for my ingenuity.

I can also – just about – make out a flickering yellow trophy so I head towards it and start racking up even more movement-based awards.

Left Then Right

Achievement Unlocked! Moved North


Looking at the code I think collecting the ‘trophy’ should “Levv” me up (and, for which, I should receive another achievement.)

Unfortunately I never make it as I’m persistently attacked by wizards, kobolds(?) and more dragons and inevitably, with my stamina depleted, I die… Achievement Unlocked!

Game Over

Achievement Unlocked! Died


All in all a biting satire of modern gaming ruined ever-so-slightly by Chris accidentally including a more-or-less playable game where he could easily have got away without one.

There are 29 Achievements to collect in total and I urge you to seek them all out – if you’d paid upwards of £50 for this game it’s only natural you’d need to justify the cost by wringing out every possible mundane second from it!


Trivia: Chris originally intended to include a 30th Achievement – for BREAKing into the BASIC code and reading them all from the DATA statements starting at LINE 9019 – but couldn’t figure out how.


Score: 9 of 50. Only 6 to go until your first medal!

Download: .tap

Achievement Unlocked! Review Finished.


  1. Great game.

    One of the many reasons for not playing modern games (and not having a PS3/4 or XBox whatever)

    Missing some Achievements:
    Restarting your game
    switching the game off (a bit difficult to detect that one)
    Turning the sound on and off

    Achievements II – The extras

    1. The achievement I missed adding would have been one for unlocking all the achievements. It would have been paradoxically unobtainable, because it would itself have been required to be unlocked before being unlocked.

      Sadly I thought of it after I’d submitted the game.

      Great game.


  2. The 30th achievement could just be embedded in a REM statement at the end of all the DATA statements, Shirley?

  3. r Reference without footnote, 5:3

    1. The footnote will be revealed in Myke’s forthcoming CGC entry, “Guess The Footnote”.

  4. Oh… I was expecting bit more. How foolish.

    1. Great idea, no doubt.

    2. More? MORE???!

      I did originally describe this as an “achievements system with a game tacked onto it”. The game had minimal effort put into it, and I wasn’t even sure what it was going to be until after I’d finished writing it.

      That description may well have been what was supposed to be in the missing footnote.

      1. I can’t help myself, I desperately want to play rpg on speccy, with 8 colors and beeper fxs like from chaos. I would even pay for it 😀

  5. Nifty.

    Yep, don’t know how to jump to a different line/USR on BREAK either. If any boffins do I’d like to know 🙂

    1. Probably something to do with pointing the stack somewhere I think, or something, perhaps. Erm, I dunno. Ask Guesser or Eq.

      1. Aye, would be cool if it could be done without resorting to a custom machine code routine, just a system variable POKE or sommat.

        Guesser won’t know, he doesn’t code for anything without a shadow screen.

        1. Take a look at issue one of Your Spectrum – there’s a Toni Baker machine code routine that uses interupts to do something similar – maybe you can hack her code to achieve the achievement!

          It`s not listed on the WOS type-ins and the mag scans don’t work yet, so dig out your CD of mag scans or grab the mag from the pile in the corner of your room.

        2. I’m sure I remember one mag had a machine code routine that would act upon the Break+Space combo that would insert a Basic command into the edit line and auto run it so that it could be used for game writers to have a quick and easy quit to menu routine – could be Your Sinclair (task force pages) or Sinclair User.

          1. Issue 11 of Your Spectrum, page 34 and there’s another great listing on page 66 that allows machine code to access BASIC commands. Double bonus points all round.

        3. Pfffffft!

          You could always supply your own interrupt routine to get keys etc and catch when the BREAK key is pressed and simulate the program BREAKing without actually doing if you see what I mean.

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