Tag: cookery

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

Boil an Egg

If you want to boil an egg and feel you can’t handle the stress of knowing when to take it off the boil then can I suggest you eat bacon tonight rather than look to this hunk of crap to help you out.  Yes, it is another effort by sunteam!
The opening page does not hold much confidence about how this program is going to pan out (pun intentional – ed.). Firstly, who in their right mind would chose to flash magenta and green full screen? I can only assume this was written on a faulty spectrum whose ULA’s “bit 7” was stuck on “FLASH”. The usual failure to correctly word-wrap and word-space is encouraging to see through.

Boil An Egg - Title Screen

Serious cranial damage kicks in from the start

Onto the game… A dismal representation of your egg (albeit round, not oval, or even ovoid) resides to the lower left of the screen. Despite however, the poor representation of your zygote containing organic vessel, the author did at least have the insight to represent the pin prick. At the top of the screen an annoying counter increments as some rate of knots to a loud din.

Boil An Egg: In Game

Accuracy that you could set your atomic watch by

All this however, is pretty irrelevant due to the massive FLASH element which still takes centre stage. As your brain haemorrhages to the sound of the annoying egg timer and FLASHING SCREEN, you start to wonder if you could actually stomach an egg or throw up all over your beloved speccy and tele with a vague misguided hope of relief from THE BLOODY FLASHING SCREEN. Don’t ask me what number the timer goes up to – my eyes were bleeding after about 100 so it’s anyone’s guess.
Once the egg timer completes (I’m sure it only ran for about 40 seconds, although to be honest, it felt like 4 hours) you have about 30 milliseconds to take your egg out before you are not-so-politely informed that you failed and that the game is over IN FULL FLASH MODE.
A quick hack into the code suggests if you were to press “e” during the infinitesimally short “REMOVE THE EGG QUICK” phase, you might actually be able to win… except the author appears to have omitted the “win” code from line 800 onwards, so failure is inevitable.

Why sunteam chose to release this on a +3 disk is anyone’s guess.  I ran the converted tape version on ZX Spin emulating a 16K Spectrum and it worked perfectly.  Well, err… you know what I mean!?
A worthy crap contender, but one that should have a warning to epileptics on the cassette cover. “May contain flashing images” just doesn’t seem to quite cut it. Anyway, my grandmother said it takes 3 minutes to boil an egg, not 4, so clearly this program is crap.

Download here: .dsk .tap