Category: Challenges


Here’s the first entry from Sqij Towers’ very own (curiously monikered, as his real name isn’t even Barry) BloodBaz. Now when I set the Keyword Challenge I was kind of expecting a game called RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE to appear, and I wasn’t disappointed! RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE is the longest program name you can have by using keywords (well, apart from CHR$ 6 CHR$ 6 CHR$ 6 CHR$ 6 CHR$ 6 CHR$ 6 CHR$ 6 CHR$ 6 CHR$ 6 CHR$ 6, but nobody can really see that, can they?) And here’s the proof:


I like the way that even though there’s no word wrapping, every word makes sense – as well as RANDOMIZE you’ve got “RAN” (past participle of “run”), “DOMIZE” (another word for death), “RANDO” (Portuguese restaurant), “MIZE” (plural of mouse in Somerset), “RANDOMI” (ancient tribe from Kidderminster or somewhere) and “ZE” (last letter of the alphabet, according to Americans). So really, this game should be called RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RAN DOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDO MIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMI ZE RANDOMIZE, not RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE. I’ll overlook this error just this once.


A rather colourful menu appears, which explains the premise of the game… although I’m not convinced RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZ(Yes, yes, we get it. Ed.) is a game yet. However, it does feature a “raison etre”. Oh goody, another one of those French biscuits! Anyway, a well known factoid amongst crap game authors is that the Speccy’s random number function – RND – is only random once RANDOMIZE is used. If you reset your machine and type LET n=RND without first RANDOMIZing, a value of .0011291504 will always be returned. It’s why Watching Paint Dry had such predictable scoring – there was no RANDOMIZE in there, so the same numbers were generated each time the game was run.

RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE avoids this pitfall, by RANDOMIZing not once, not twice, but ten times! So the numbers should be ten times as random as they would be if they were just randomized once! (If you have the cash to spare, there’s also a pro version available – contact BloodBaz for full details, including some sort of shady repayment plan involving a guy called “Dodgy Tony” and a baseball bat)


By now you’re probably wondering what the point of all this is, and to be honest, so am I, which is why I’ve repeatedly padded out the review with the title – which, in case you’ve forgotten, is RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RAN(Oh, shut up. Ed.) I suppose if you’re a crap game author and you need some genuinely random numbers, you could do a lot worse than use this utility. On the other hand, there’s no gameplay element whatsoever. Still, to paraphrase William Shakespeare (or was it William Shatner?) “Never let gameplay get in the way of a truly crap CSSCGC entry you’ve just wasted over half an hour of your life reviewing”.


Score: an utterly predictable .0011291504%.

Download .tzx here.


Verify The Pie Or Not!

The terminally crap* Dave Hughes is back for this Keyword Challenge entry, entitled VERIFY THE PIE OR NOT ! Just to prove he hasn’t cheated, here’s what happens when you load the game:


Disappointingly for one of Dave’s games there’s no loading screen, but there is a small block containing some UDGs and the first use of a custom font in the competition so far (taken from ZX-Alfa by Einar Saukas) – sadly it’s far too legible to gain Dave any crap points.

After a catchy “sing the title” tune along the lines of The Sweeney or Mummy, Where’s My Bra? the instructions unfold. You work in a pie factory’s quality control department and have to check an unknown (possibly infinite) number of pies to make sure they are fit for human consumption. If the pie contains two edible ingredients, press 0. If it has one, press 1. If it’s completely inedible, press 2. Immediately Dave wins back some crap points for this topsy turvy control system, which requires you to use both hands.


So the game starts, with a rather attractive user defined pie graphic, and straight away we have a pie which even Heston Blumenthal would turn his nose up at…


Now this sounds like it might be a delicacy in downtown Pripyat, but even the trendiest Shoreditch gastropub would have trouble sourcing Strontium-90 for its gourmet, artisan, can-I-have-a-second-mortgage-with-that pies. Although at least it’s suitable for vegetarians.

The game continues in a similar fashion, with some perfectly edible (if slightly odd-sounding) pies…CurryBacon

…and some which, if presented on a menu, you’d ask the waiter “Have you got this pie with leeks instead?”…


…and one or two which even Eric Pickles would draw the line at…


Now I don’t know if it’s the sheer weight of crap games I’ve had to endure over the last few weeks, or the gallons of alcohol I’ve had to imbibe to make the playtesting more bearable, but this game really made me laugh – I mean, proper, laugh out loud, belly laughter, to the point where I was doubled over with tears in my eyes, and my 5-year-old daughter kept asking what was the matter with me. I don’t know if it was by accident or design that the fillings got more outrageous as the game progressed, but just when I thought I’d seen every pie flavour known to man (and a few known only to people from Lincolnshire), another odd combination appeared and almost finished me off.


To make the game interesting it records various statistics including your time, number of “good” pies baked and number of incorrect answers. There were a few mystery items thrown in there too – I had no idea what “snoek” and “breccia” were until I played this game, but I now know that one’s not an Italian vegetable, and the other one isn’t a Norwegian hat – so the game also ticks the educational box!

Anyway, I’d better go, as the family are waiting patiently for me to dish up Sunday lunch. Today we’re having David Icke and dogmuck pie… mmmmm, lovely!

Score: Strontium-90 percent.

Download .tap here

*in a funky skillo sort of a way, natch

Return Ink To Move Cat In To A Bin

MatGubbins gets straight into the Keyword Challenge with a 9-byter and then, immediately, follows it up with a second!

I’ve no idea if the challenge rules can even cope with that kind of out there thinking, but you have to admire the kid’s spirit.

Bonus Points!

Bonus points from the off!


A short load later and we’re presented with a marvellous title screen, in glorious chunk-o-vision™, and a colourful ‘press space to start’ prompt – the likes of which haven’t been seen since last year’s Run Ferrit.

There’s also a quick plug for some game or other, however, if this crap is anything to go by I wouldn’t give it a second thought.

No Instructions Needed!

No instructions needed? Correct


Onto the game itself and it’s a master class in literal titular interpretation. (F’nar – Ed)

You play Mr Fluffykins whose cat, Steve, is perched upon a fence at the bottom of the screen. A randomly placed… sack… of ink, inexplicably marked ‘Q,’ is placed somewhere on the screen and your job is to locate it, move towards it (using the predefined, but comfortably traditional, QAOP) and pick it up.

BUT WAIT! There’s more…

Ink Collector

Pick up the… bag of Q?


Once in possession of the ink you need to – carefully – manoeuvre Mr Fluffykins towards the bottom of the screen. BUT BEWARE! Move too quickly and the ink will spill all over your nice clean shoes! (Possibly – Ed)

Deposit the ink into the signposted area and Steve will slink forward a little, all the time seduced by the sweet smell of rotting fish coming from the Wheelie Bin® at the far right of the screen.

HANG ON! You’re not finished by a long shot! Another bag of ink appears. CAN YOU RESIST?!?

The Cat Moves

See that pussy move (‘Arf – Ed)


NO! Collect the ink. Deposit the ink. Steve moves. Collect the ink. Deposit the ink… You get the idea.

Unfortunately Mr Gubbins has fluffed up again, this time managing not only to produce a more-or-less playable game, but also including some great UDGs while he’s at it.

I won’t spoil the ending for you – I think you’ve had more than enough excitement for one review – but MatG does leave it open for the sequel; RETURN PAPER TO BIN TO LET CAT OUT!

Score: 3 lives out of 9!

Download: .tap

Note: No animals, apart from Steve who injured his paw when he slipped on the fence at one point, were harmed in the making of this review. This review may contains elements that have been created or exaggerated for dramatic effect.