Tag: 128K only

Maria Whittaker Strip Snap

I’m sure Lee prefers it if I’m reviewing crap games, because it means I’m not adding more to the dung heap. Anyway, he seems to be avoiding this one, I’m assuming because he doesn’t want to get caught playing it. No such problem for me, I live on my own, and unless I’ve invited somebody human (or, erm, K8TI the sexy robot from UDG Strip Snap) around to play actual Strip Snap, I can just close the curtains and set the volume to one notch above absolute zero, and nobody’s any the wiser. Quite frankly, if they’re the sort of person who would come round and play Strip Snap, I doubt they would care about mildly obscene ZX Spectrum games anyway. btw, if any girls reading this fancy a game of Strip Snap, you can get me on Twitter. I can throw in some two-player Top Shelf (<snip!> – that’s quite enough of that, this isn’t Tinder – Ed)
So, as Sqij Tower’s unintentionally self-appointed censor, I took it upon myself to check out Andrew Green‘s Maria Whittaker Strip Snap. It’s a remake of Sam Fox Strip Snap, which I’m sure you all remember. If you don’t remember it, it doesn’t really matter, because this game is largely identical.

For some reason it starts with a plain green screen stating “ANY KEY”.
After that, there’s a digitised picture which should probably be a loading screen, followed by the instructions.
In my school, there was a joke that if you played Strip Poker (Strip Snap hadn’t been invented) against Pamela Anderson (the teenage boy’s crush of choice at the time), she’d turn up wearing several jumpers, a big coat, scarf, sunglasses, hat, wig, false beard etc. The teenage boy in question (in Smash Hits tradition, let’s call him “Ken”) would be there just in his pants…. and still win! Or was it the other way round? I forget.

How to play

How to play

I’d assume you know how to play Snap, but it came to my attention recently that a friend of mine didn’t know the rules. So, in case you’ve also been living in Poland, here’s a brief synopsis: Each of you starts with half a deck of cards, then in turn – no peeking (that’s for the latter stages of the strip version, and if you get really lucky there’ll be some poking taking place too) – you turn the top card and place it in front of you. If the numbers match, shout “Snap!” (and then press ‘S’, unless you have a voice controlled Speccy), and take the stack of played cards (or, in Strip Snap, an item of your opponent’s attire, such as that nice scarf you’ve been eyeing up since Christmas). If you call out when they don’t match, or the other player calls out first, they get the cards (clothes) instead. When you run out of cards (clothes), you lose. I should point out that in Strip Snap, you don’t actually get to put on the clothes the other player has been forced to discard, although that’s certainly a version of the game I’d like to see.
SNAP!  No, wait.  Bollocks. *removes bow-tie*

SNAP! No, wait. Bollocks. *removes bow-tie*

In this game, Ms Whittaker is wearing five items of clothing. She removes her dress first, then her shoes… hold on, I wouldn’t have even let her in without making her remove her shoes at the door, she’ll only make the carpet muddy and I need to check for explosives, and anyway, even if she had got past my security without taking them off, why the fuck is she removing her dress before her shoes? And counting her shoes as one item? This certainly isn’t the way I’d be playing Strip Snap, mind you I’ve seen, erm, I mean, heard about, porn where the woman is completely naked but never removes her shoes, and they’re always high heels too, there’s no way I’d stand for that sort of behaviour in the bedroom, or on the kitchen worktop, it’s a food preparation area (*ahem* – Ed) so maybe Andrew has it right here… er… where was I?
Ah, yes. You also start with five items of clothing. No, I don’t care how many items you are actually wearing (unless you’re female and it’s less than three, in which case send pictures), for the purposes of the game it’s irrelevant as you’re not going to need them – unless you’re insane, you’re not going to be physically removing your underwear for the benefit of a virtual Maria Whittaker, and even if you do, she’s probably only going to laugh at the size of your penis and then run back home to her husband. The game also fails to pose much of a challenge until you’ve reduced Maria to her panties, at which point she gets desperate.
SNA...aargh!  *removes hair clip*

SNA…aargh! *removes hair clip*

When either of you lose an item of clothing, you are treated to a picture of Ms Whittaker either celebrating or looking a bit annoyed. Andrew has missed a trick here, as he could have included some extra pictures showing Maria in the various states of undress as you de-clothe her. There is a bit of an extra treat if you win, which caters for the target audience just as you’d expect.
*removes bandana* (Why are you wearing a banana? - Ed)

*removes bandana* (Why are you wearing a banana? – Ed)

Score: Out of ten I’d give her one. Not much chance of that, though, she’s married.

Download: .Z80 (128K only)

Come Come, Mrs Pickford. Its Only A Vegetable.

So… it’s Bank Holiday weekend, Sunday afternoon and I’m at a loose end already. I could write some crap games to annoy Lee with, but I don’t have any inspiration for that sort of thing at the moment. I could help Lee out and review one of the games on the pile. Preferably the one at the top, as if I remove the one that has been sitting there longest it’ll knock the whole lot over, just like those giant pyramids of baked beans you don’t see in supermarkets and probably never existed except in cartoons and adverts, and maybe Supermarket Sweep with Dale Winton.

Or I could take a leaf out of Mrs Pickford’s book and do a spot of gardening. I hate gardening.

Mrs Pickford goes down the market.

Mrs Pickford goes down the market.

I decided to see what Mrs Pickford was up to. She’s been out in the garden all day but I think I spotted the nasty garden shite fairy, so I should probably w…. hold on, is that a CUSTOM FONT????!

Yes, unclechicken (not Uncle Chicken, never that) is showing a dangerous amount of technical competence with his entry “Come Come, Mrs Pickford, Its (sic) Only A Vegetable”. The loading screen itself is a well-rendered colourful menagerie of vegetables, with the bottom screen area curiously left out.

Thankfully the plot is minimal, at best, and the controls are ridiculous.

This game employs the sociopath's favourite keyboard controls.

This game employs the sociopath’s favourite keyboard controls.

You play Mrs Pickford and need to avoid the stuff the NGS Fairy has sent to kill you. I assume this is the fairy equivalent of a gladiatorial contest, Mrs Pickford merely being used for entertainment rather than a personal vendetta. But maybe there is some deep-seated rivalry, and in the sequel unclechicken will flesh out the NGS Fairy’s backstory and we discover that she used to be Mrs Pickford’s guardian angel until Mrs Pickford did something unimaginable.

Anyway, I digress.

So, there’s a steaming pile of dog shite (and that’s just the game), a lawnmower (or is it a pram?), a smiley face(??) and something that could be an unexploded WW2 bomb, a carrot or a molotov cocktail. Either way, I’d suggest to avoid it. You don’t mess with carrots.

I'm going to put a sheet over this screenshot, and you have to name the objects... actually, let's not bother with the sheet.

I’m going to put a sheet over this screenshot, and you have to name the objects… actually, let’s not bother with the sheet.

Everything moves very very quickly. So quickly, in fact, that I wasn’t sure this was written in BASIC. It isn’t. Beyond the instruction screen, it’s just over 7K of pure machine code. As I said, unclechicken is displaying an extraordinary amount of technical competence. However, he has harnessed the machine code for the power of good, and managed to make the game even more unplayable than it would have been in BASIC. If you can survive for more than five seconds you’re doing well.

When you die you’re sent straight back to the title screen and invariably back into the action because you’re still holding down 8 or 6 or whatever key moves you AWAY from the freaky grinning bodyless face, so you have no idea what score you attained but you are sure you can last for six-and-a-half seconds this time, then the lawnmower runs you over and you’re still not sure whether that’s a vegetable or something the Germans sent over during the war, or maybe it’s that vase of flowers Mr Pickford bought you on Thursday, and it’s getting dark and you’re not sure how long you’ve been running but you think you might have missed Poldark, or did that finish last week, and if you ever see that fairy again she’s going to get acquainted with the underside of your boot.

Score: Ten steaming piles of dog shite out of ten.
Download: .tzx (128K Spectrum only)