Reviewed by LiBruce

Developer: Dr.Sputnik
Genre: Memory Challenge
Platform: Spectrum 48K
Language: BASIC

rocks.tzx (Spectrum 48K Tape Image)

Dr.Sputnik (AKA Gavin Callard) is back! You may remember the good doctor from past CSSCGC atrocities such as; "Chesney Hawkes' Celebrity Digital Higher or Lower Simulator" and the incredible multi-platform marathon "More Tea Vicar"?

Rocks was, by Dr.Sputnik's own admission, written while drunk (a couple of weeks ago) so I was very much surprised to find a half-decent loading screen included. This did, however, introduce some ambiguity - is the game just called; "Rocks" or is it subtitled; "Rocks: Count Them!"?

In a stroke of blind luck (or, less likely, genius) Dr.Sputnik has managed to present a simple "guess the number" game as a mini-drama involving a couple of drunken mates at 2am. At a bus stop. In Camden Town. Or something.

Quick Intro

[An interesting, if slightly alarming, plinky-plonky half-tune introduces the scene]

Frank: Eh. Err... Pete. It shays'ere that Shaturn's rings are akshually made'jup of lotsh-and-lotsh ofs'jittle rocksh?

Peter: Whah? Whar'you onnabout? Rocks?

Frank: Rocksh! Look!

[Frank hands Peter a leaflet for the Science Museum that he found in a jacket that he's starting to think may not be his after all]

Frank: How many'j'you shink there are? Fool?

Get Counting

[Peter holds the leaflet at arm's length and attempts to focus on the tiny image for several minutes...]

[Frank snatches the leaflet back]

Frank: How many'zhen?

Peter: Pfff. I dunno. A hundred-n-twenty-eight. Summin'like that?


Frank: No. Ya Cretin. [Grins smugly] It's 145. Trysh'again!

[Peter takes the leaflet back and holds it a bit closer but it's still just a blur. Suddenly he realises Frank's mistake...]

Frank: How many'zhen?

Peter: [Grins smugly] One'undred-and-forty-five!

Frank: No. [Thinks of another number at random] It's Wo-wo - it's'undred'an'shixty errr... nine?. 'Ave'anovver go.

Peter: Oh pfff. 'Oo cares anyways you tw('Onk - Ed.)

[Credits roll]

In true bond-villain style; Dr.Sputnik promises to return with "all sorts of utter rubbish over the coming months." I, for one, am a little scared.

Fun for all the Family?

I contacted an average family to get their take on the flippant claim made by Rocks' loading screen.

One young boy showed some genuine anticipation during the 'Generating level' phase, however, this was quickly lost when he failed to guess the correct number. When asked if he'd like to try again he replied; "No. Let's go onto the next game."

The mother, barely acknowledging the screen, dismissed it as the worst game ever. How little she knows!

Finally I'm sure the baby gave me a knowing look before projectile-vomiting all over my shoes?

I think that's enough scientific evidence to dispute the claim.

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