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AT 4,5; "SHADOW OF THE BEEF"
BEEPER ABUSE: 6
CRAP FACTOR: 4
Eq. went out of his way to advise that this entry would only run on a 128K, however, I still fired up my emulator in 48K mode. Rather than just allowing the program to crash with a confusing error, Paul has helpfully providing a rudimentary error trap and a clear instruction on what's gone wrong. Unfortunately this sort of attention to detail continues throughout Shadow of the Beef (SOTB.)
Oddly (for such a well presented crudsterpiece) there's no loading screen, however, after watching the blue and yellow bars for a few minutes you're presented with a fake intro poking fun at a well-known Speccy development team.
After that it's onto a brilliant title-screen/logo and vertical scrolling message with a proper back story and game instructions.
The story goes that you're a cow who's bolted from the back of a truck on the way to the abattoir on a dark and stormy night.
Hit a key from here and it's straight into the game where you control a generously sized cow sprite using O and P (to move left and right) and Space to jump.
* It's worth noting that, as with any self-respecting run and jump game, you can move whilst jumping in order to manoeuvre yourself around enemies/scenery.
Unusually, for a CSSCGC entry, Eq. has made a decent effort on the sound effects front using the 128K PLAY command starting off with a sort of 'Moo' on the title screen.
As you're heading for the distant hills you'll need to avoid
four types of hazard;
The distance to travel and your energy are both represented by depleting horizontal bars at the bottom of the screen. The energy bar also changes colour through the traditional green (safe,) yellow (oo-eck) and red (danger!)
If you're doing well then, naturally, the distance bar should be depleting at a faster rate than the energy one. If you're not so good, however, your energy bar will run low and inevitably you'll see this game over screen several times before you get the hang of things.
For those who persevere and complete the game there's a brilliant little end sequence and pleasant AY tune.
With all the effort that's gone into this the question must be; "why has it been entered into this compo." I'd say that it's a short but relatively enjoyable game and, as such, a remarkably disappointing entry.
Eq. has included the uncompiled BASIC code as an unused code block at the end of the .TZX and also a picture of himself with a cow at what I believe is a restaurant of sorts.