Tag: advanced simulator

Advanced Anne Frank Simulator

Uncle Jonathan Chicken wrote this in about ten minutes whilst drunk. I’m intending to write this review in about ten minutes whilst sober. Does that mean it’s any good? (The game or the review? Ed). Let’s find out….


You play Anne Frank, a Jew living in hiding apparently on her own in the attic (I’m not sure this game is entirely historically accurate).

The keys are:
O – Left
P – Right
Q – Jump
W – Write in diary
S – Sleep

W and S only work if you are in the correct location. Let’s see what they do. Here’s the “sleep” action:



Huh? What time is it? WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN MY ROOM?

Oh, I was reviewing a game. I remember now. Let’s try the W action:

Scribble scribble

Scribble scribble

I can’t see any way of ending this game, or any scoring mechanism. Maybe you get carted off by the Germans and gassed if you play it for a few years.

You can also jump

You can also jump

I can’t decide whether this game is in bad taste or not. It certainly captures the boredom of living in hiding, where all you can do is write a diary, sleep or jump around. I guess that’s the point.

The best I can do is suggest a donation to the Anne Frank Trust, so some good might come out of this game.

Score: I’m not giving this game a score, because it didn’t give me one.
Download: .tap

Stephen Hawking’s Advanced Wheelchair Flight Simulator

Stephen Hawking: A brilliant mind, trapped in a barely functioning body, with the voice of a robot. This may sound like the trailer for next summer’s sci-fi blockbuster (read it again in your best “trailer voiceover man” voice, preferably loudly if you’re on the bus or something), but this is science fact, not science fiction.

Is it a bird?  Is it a plane?  No, it's Stephen Hawking!

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Stephen Hawking!

The UK’s second favourite professor is the leading authority on black holes, although it was Einstein who originally predicted their existence, before fudging the equations as he believed them impossible. Black holes are strange creatures. So strange, in fact, that they aren’t actually creatures at all. You couldn’t keep one as a pet. Well, you could, but it would – quite literally – eat you out of house and home planet.
The UK's favourite professor is Brian Cox (not pictured)

The UK’s favourite professor is Brian Cox (not pictured)

Black holes are virtually impossible to detect. This is partly because they emit no light, and partly because space and time are intertwined, and massive objects like black holes warp this. If you look at a black hole invariably you’ll see what is behind it, due to an effect known as gravitational lensing. If you get really close to a black hole time slows down. If you get even closer, time will stop. By that point you would have had your atoms torn apart by the excessive gravity so you’d never actually experience this.
Daley Thompson for the Stephen Hawking generation.

Daley Thompson for the Stephen Hawking generation.

In Stephen Hawking’s Advanced Wheelchair Flight Simulator by Paul Weller…. Yes, that’s right. In between embarking on a national tour and promoting his new album (Saturn’s Pattern, out May 11th), the Modfather likes nothing more than writing crap games for his favourite 1980s computer (I think this is why he prefers us to call him “sunteam” – Ed). Thankfully the former The Jam singer managed to sneak this in before Stephen Hawking trademarked his own name, so the legal bill should be reduced.
Anyway, the plot goes that the robotic professor is trying to get up close and personal with the black hole at the centre of our galaxy. There is a theory that everything sucked in by a black hole is spat out into a parallel universe. I’m not sure if this is what he is trying to achieve here, it isn’t really adequately explained. It’s also not explained why he doesn’t use a rocket to escape the Earth’s gravity, as a lump of dark matter is unlikely to provide the propulsion needed – especially as nobody really knows what dark matter is, not even Stephen Hawking knows, and you’d think he would do some research first if he’s going to be utilising such a thing. Anti-matter would possibly be a more useful propellent, as it might cause a massive emission of energy before the matter of the young scientist and the lump of anti-matter cause neither to continue to exist.
High score challenge.

High score challenge.

Basically it’s a button-masher. I would explain more but we’ve run out of space-time. How inconvenient.

Score: entrophy

Download +3 .dsk here (it’s a +3 Lee, it’s not fucking rocket science)

Advanced Fiesta Simulator 3D

I owned a Ford Fiesta over ten years ago. The blower stopped working except on position “4”, which necessitated turning the radio up, not that the speaker on the driver’s side worked properly anyway. One winter the internal heater decided to fail. Some time afterwards the radiator developed a leak, requiring a top-up every morning and an emergency spare bottle of water in the boot. In summer, my commute to work largely involved watching the temperature gauge slowly increase, praying that the “Road To Nowhere” wouldn’t be at a standstill, as the only way to keep the engine cool was to drive fast enough for the surrounding air to do the job. In winter I was dressed as the Michelin Man, praying that the “Road To Nowhere” wouldn’t be at a standstill, so I could get to work before I froze to death.

I figured this was qualification enough to review Garry Wishart’s Advanced Fiesta Simulator 3D for the ZX81.

I had a piece of shit car like this myself once.

I had a piece of shit car like this myself once.

The first thing which struck me was this game is HUGE. It needs a 16K ZX81, and the author advises against running it on a real machine because it “takes nearly 15 minutes to load”. However, he also advises there is a version with sound (“not included”) which only works on a real ZX81 – and requires a radio tuned to the specific frequency of 600kHz in the vicinity. That’s dedication, and I’m willing to take Garry’s word that such a thing both exists and works, as the rest of the code is unbelievably thorough – there’s even a mention of “friction coefficients”, though he has hand-rendered everything (which explains why the code takes up so much memory) rather than using his mathematical genius coupled with the ZX81’s UNPLOT command. Maybe the ZX81 wasn’t up to calculating the full first-person view of the road quick enough.

This advert was actually found next to Jim's wife in the back of Fiesta magazine, due to an administrative error.

This advert was actually found next to Jim’s wife in the back of Fiesta magazine, due to an administrative error.

The game starts with you purchasing a used car, for less than the price of a Sinclair Black Watch (probably). “One careful lady owner”, the advert states – omitting the twenty or so buffoons who also owned it at one point or another.

After that you’re straight into the action. With as many controls as your average ZX81 flight simulator[1], you can do everything from accelerating to adjusting the mirrors. Even the horn has a key despite the ZX81 having no ability to output sound. Bizarrely, there’s no option to turn on the hazards, which are the first things I’d check are working in a MkI Fiesta. Ah, well, it’s a game, you won’t need them. The game helpfully tells you the controls no matter what you answer to the question “Instructions?”, so somebody’s been reading my old guide to writing a crap game.

The main display is your classic pseudo-driver’s view – a road disappearing into the distance – but with a few features not normally found on 8-bit era driving games. Firstly, the game has a five speed gearbox (one of the speeds is “reverse”, but it still counts), whereas you’d be lucky to get Lo/Hi gears back in the 1980s. Secondly, there’s a rear view mirror, despite there being no other traffic on the road. Garry has also kitted it out with the usual computer game dashboard components – speedo, clock, brake fluid low indicator (Huh? – Ed), that sort of thing.

The A14 near Creeting St Mary.

The A14 near Creeting St Mary.

Unfortunately, the warning lights appear to be dead (It’s probably the fuse – Ed), as the first you’ll know about the engine overheating is when it’s on fire. The gearbox is faulty. The electrics are screwed up. If you slow down for the lights you’ll stall and be needing those hazard lights that haven’t been mapped to the ZX81’s keyboard. If you adjust the mirror it’ll come off in your hand.

I dare say that if you stay at a constant speed between about 20 and 40 mph, stay on the road and DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING you might reach Carlisle. Or you might still break down due to lack of fuel, an oil leakage, flat tyre or total boredom.

And.... stop.

And…. stop.

Mr Lake, co-host of the 2007 CSSCGC, also had an old Fiesta. Exiting the vehicle involved winding the window down and operating the handle on the exterior of the door, although I believe in later years that failed too, and the only reasonable way to leave was via the passenger’s side.

I strongly suspect this game is based on a true story. It’s also entirely as advertised – advanced, accurate and in 3D. If you took out all the bits about the car breaking down, this would have sold as a full price title back in 1982. With them, though, it’s a superbly executed crap game which has had far too much effort spent on it. Top marks!

Download HERE

[1] There’s only one – Psion Flight Simulation, and it has twelve keys, but three of them have nothing to do with controlling the plane so I’ve ignored them.

Advanced ZX81 Simulator

The CGC has long had a tradition of people writing “advanced simulators” of their favourite (second favourite – Ed) computer platforms for the humble Speccy. From the short:

20 NEW

All the way up to James Smith‘s Virtual ZX Spectrum – an actual ZX Spectrum emulator that runs on the Spectrum itself – and his potentially genuinely useful Twenty Commodes, Vic-20 emulator.

The question here was “which category is this going to fall into?”. Is it the usual cheap one-joke effort, or is it a fully fledged ZX81 emulator for the Spectrum capable of playing such classics as 3D Monster Maze and Barcode Hangman? (such things do already exist)

One of the delights that isn't playable with Advanced ZX81 Simulator, running here under a proper ZX81 emulator for the Speccy.

One of the delights that isn’t playable with Advanced ZX81 Simulator, running here under a proper ZX81 emulator for the Speccy.

It started off well, configuring my 16K RAM Pack with extra blu-tack to avoid the dreaded RAM Pack Wobble(TM) after three hours on Crap Castle Master. The ZX81’s K prompt stared back.

Ah... the dreams of every ZX81 owner... so this is what's "advanced" about it...

Ah… the dreams of every ZX81 owner… so this is what’s “advanced” about it…

Predictably, it’s a cheap one joke effort. Extra marks for entirely failing to mimic the ZX81’s error messages, and providing a polite wordy error rather than the abrasive unexpected reboot, screen corruption and freeze that plagued ZX81 owners in the early 1980s.

It appears that the “Advanced” in the title means “More advanced than an actual ZX81” and “Simulator” means “Not even trying to be a ZX81”.

I rate this ZX80 out of QL.

Download here.