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Much Ado

Entry 304 posted in: 3. Gamebits

Things haven't been moving a lot on this website and that is because some rather disturbing things have happened in my life lately. If you ask what it is I'll answer 'none of your business', my psych knows and that is enough.

Ask me another question then, for instance 'what is the best computer game... ever' and I'll give you an answer in a split second without hesitation. I'll give you three answers even...

On three: Tetris, the original (1985). The game is so well known that I don't need to elaborate on that, I hope. I still have a soft spot for the original DOS version that can be found here, don't forget to read the story behind the game!

On two: before I had a DOS PC I bought me an Amstrad CPC, well not really an Amstrad but a Schneider that was the same piece of equipment but streamlined for the European market.

With the box came a copy of Spindizzy (1986) and that is probably the best game ever to be produced for that piece of machinery. The object is simple, you are a 'Gyroscopic ExploRAtion Landing Device' shaped as a gyroscope, a ball or as an inverted pyramid and your goal is to map all 386 levels of the world you have been warped into and to get back to the starting point. Your ship uses a lot of energy but that can be recuperated by grabbing the jewels that are lying around.

The main problem was that the maze was so big that you needed to make:
a: a detailed roadmap of the explored levels in the game
b: a route description of what to do in what level in order not to get out of energy.

Spindizzy was made by Paul Shirley who found that: "Fitting 386 levels into 11K was satisfying." The original game can still be played if you install a CPC emulator, for instance WinAPE but apparently a Linux remake is in the works and will be issued in 2007. (Let's hope it will also hit Windows, although I fear that the remake will be slightly bigger than the original 11 Kb, yep, you've read that right eleven, not eleven thousand.)

And what about the best game ever then? Well, we'll get to spot one later on.

If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well: Gyroworld