Reviewed by Mosquito

Developer: R Tape
Genre: Maze & Collect
Platform: Spectrum 48K
Language: BASIC

FORESTOFDOOM.tap (Spectrum 48K Tape Image)FORESTOFDOOM.z81 (ZX81 Snapshot (by Myke-P))

* * Warning: Not to be confused with 1984 Puffin Books title of the same name! * *


R Tape starts this 37-line epic with two miserly UDGs poked directly into RAM to ensure incompatibility with the 16K Spectrum that, otherwise, would have ran it comfortably!*

"Imagine the infinite possibility," he entices mysteriously like some kind of Victorian circus ringmaster. This crapsterpiece was written last year whilst hosting the CSSCGC 2013 and the goal is to guide Guanodar, high lord of the Garralian dwarf people (so it says here,) around the randomly generated and titular; Forest of Doom using a classic QAOP configuration.

The Forest (of Doom!)

The gameplay here is deceptively simple; collect the magic token (if there is one**) and walk off the screen.

Naturally this wouldn't be much of a game if it were that easy and a number of obstacles stand between you and your quest; whilst the trees simply serve to get in your way and force you into the path of certain danger, the death barbs result in an unforgiving and instant death.

Game Over

In addition R Tape has included an innovative difficulty curve mechanism which doesn't, as you might expect, involving simply increasing the number of trees and death barbs on each successive screen. Instead the curve gets steeper and steeper as your retinas take a beating from the flashing graphics until, inevitably, you're unable to see what you're doing and run into a death barb.

High Score Challenge

The reward for getting to 100 'Precious things' is, potentially, permanently impaired vision and also an infinitely looping message (which I saw by amending line 71 to LET score=99) with even more flashing text.

All in all an excellent first attempt from R Tape which looks like it would have been right at home on the Cascade 50 cassette. Unfortunately, while my vision is still a little hazy, I found this all too playable and so I've had to take points off.

For those who do not care for their eyes; the high score challenge starts at 32.

Game Over

* Hopefully R Tape will be willing to sell me the rights for this ZX81 conversion?

** Each screen is generated randomly and you'll only get a magic token if the Spectrum's FRAME counter happens to be above 100 when the code hits the right point.

Also the random object generation code makes no consideration for objects already drawn and so it would be entirely possible, but ultimately unfair, if after collecting 99 'Precious things' a death barb was generated at the player x,y position and you instantly died.

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