"Bellend Software" is a collaboration of existing CSSCGC authors - Lee Prince, Dave Hughes and Andy Watson. That's right; the awesome power of three (sick) minds joining together to produce a superior quality of crap software. (Be afraid - Ed.)
But it almost didn't happen - artistic differences meant that their partnership was almost over before they ever released a game! Luckily the lawyers have sorted it out and they've managed to spend enough time in a room together to produce the game for which we are now gathered to discuss.
Forum-goers over at World of Spectrum may have read about Bermondsey Bob's recent Kidney Transplant which forms the backdrop of the game.
Proceedings kick off with some kind of sorcery that makes the loading SCREEN$ above appear in a distinctly custom manner and, thanks to dithering and clever use of white outlines, almost leads you to believe that you're dealing with something a bit ULAplus!?
After a short load you're presented with important information about Organ Donation (which, after all, is what this game shamelessly sets out to promote.) After pressing 'q' to continue there follows some less important background information and the vaguest instructions on the game you're about to play, however, it is tele-typed character-by-character onto the screen in a very slick (if beep-heavy) manner.
In fact everything is so polished that, especially given R Tape's involvement, I initially assumed that we were dealing with a game programmed in ASM. Completely by accident, however, some heavy-fisted key mashing led to me BREAKing into the program to discover it's all done in BASIC! Most impressive.
When you're ready it's time to press a key and get on with the game itself - but not before a short BEEPtastic rendition of "Wake Up Boo!" by the Boo Radleys.
Said game is a simple affair; twiddle your fingers alternately over two keys* at a rapid rate, in order to prod the Attribute-only rendered organ with a Python-esque pointing finger UDG. This slowly fills up a bar at the bottom of the screen which, when full, wakes up that sleeping kidney!
* I chose "O" and "P" - 'cos I'm quite traditional, you see.
If you don't synchronise your button fondling correctly, or get a bit slow/tired, the bar depletes over time.
For those players with furious-enough™ fingers there's a set of BEEP scales that goes on for just-a-bit-too-long, followed by a poorly rendered end sequence which then wraps back around to the start screen. All in all this means that "Bob's New Kidney" is quite a short, but undeniably well put together, crap-gaming experience.
Organ Donation Around The World
Some countries, such as Portugal and Russia, operate a "Presumed Consent" policy with regards to Organ Donation which means that they can be used unless you have explicitly documented your wishes to the contrary.
In others, like New Zealand and Ireland, you are given the option to 'opt in' when applying for official documents, such as your driver's license.
Many have now started making 'opt in' registration really easy by allowing you to do it online. I've collected a few here, however, if anyone can find any more I'm happy to add them:
I've read that 90% of people in the UK would happily donate their organs after death, however, only 30% actually get around to opting in. I've been in the remaining 70% for going-on 20 years but, inspired by this entry, it only took me 5 minutes to register at the UK link above.
If you live in an opt-in country and, like me, can't think of any reason why you wouldn't want to save someone elses life after your death, then please make your wishes known to the appropriate authorities, and your families, sooner rather than later.