So, strictly speaking this isn’t a retro game at all, having been released in 2013. However, I’m including it for two reasons. Firstly, it is very retro styled. And secondly because it has the bleakest, most depressing intro sequence of any game I have ever played.
If you’re one of the cool kids like me and you use Linux you can download it from the developers website. If you’re one of the uncool kids who uses Windows you can also download it. If you’re a Mac user then you are only pretending to be a cool kid and you can’t have it at all.
Right, I’ve been out and bought the lube. Let’s have some bum fun!
What? It’s called BuN fun? Not Bum Fun? Shit.
Bun Fun is a job simulator for a very specific set or circumstances:
- Where you work on a factory production line that produces buns with icing and walnuts on them;
- Where it is your job to put the icing on the buns;
- Where your mate, who does the nuts, has decided to pull a sickie and go fishing instead so you have to put the nuts on the buns too;
- Where you get paid according to performance instead of a set hourly rate.
You’re right, it does sound less enjoyable than bum fun. Now what am I going to do with all this lube?
Everyone has surely wanted to be surly faced Jimmy Nail at some point haven’t they? Jimmy Nail at his crazy 80’s best, off in Dusseldorf with Timothy Spall and the other ones whose names I can’t remember because I didn’t really watch this programmable, what with being a bit too young and everything.
Alright, I never have wanted to be Jimmy Nail. But I bet you have. And now you can be in this effort from Tynesoft. Let’s see what crazy hi-jinks Mr Nail gets up to in Germany.
First up, the confusing and difficult to read instructions:
Got that? Very clear eh?
Right, off to lay some bricks then. Best not run into those disembodied heads or wayward trowels though (“bewear” of the trowels, as the instructions beautifully put it). I can only think that Jimmy Nail is being paid more deutschmarks than he is admitting to if he isn’t going to question quite why his job involves heads as large as he is and trowels being chucked at him while he works.
Anyway, Jimmy Nail is utterly shit at his bricklaying job, as this video demonstrates (and do note that although this goes on for 54 seconds, only six seconds of that is me playing the game):
Never mind, Mr Nail, go to this weird pub that you have to get in a lift to enter and get absolutely pissed instead. Just be careful not to bump into any barmaids. Or Tables. Or the wall. Oh:
Ah well Jimmy, not to worry that your night on the lash was cut short. Should just be a quick walk back to where you’re staying under German efficiently lighted streets shouldn’t it.
Now, you may have watched those videos and thought about what an insultingly bad game it is. And you’re right. But the absolute Pièce de résistance is the cassette cover. Enjoy:
I have to admit to feeling a little bereft. What is a man to do with his life after playing through the 50 (er…48) Games on the Acorn Electron version of Cassette 50?
I did think about playing through the ZX81 version next, and I still might, but a little break from all things Cassette 50 might also be good.
So instead I have decided to search out more crap games to play. There is one problem though. Today’s game is utter genius. It’s a ZX Spectrum Grand Prix Game. Yeah, yeah, you might think, there were loads of racing games on the Speccy. Well this is different. This is text only, like one of those adventure games you’d play for a bit before getting frustrated and typing “Fuck”. And the computer would respond “I DO NOT KNOW WHAT ‘FUCK’ IS. TYPE ‘HELP’ FOR A LIST OF COMMANDS”. And then you would type “This game is crap, I hate you, you smell”. And the computer would respond “I DO NOT KNOW WHAT ‘CRAP’ IS. TYPE ‘HELP’ FOR A LIST OF COMMANDS”. And then your mum would come in the room and you’d have to turn off the telly before she saw you had typed some swears.
Text Only Grand Prix was released in 2009 by Bob Smith for a crap games competition – take a look at his website for some absolutely brilliant homebrewed brew games for the Spectrum and ZX81.
I can’t do this game justice in words. Watch the video. It is amazing:
And so we come to the last two games. It has been a marathon slog of mediocre, bewildering and downright awful games, and I have to admit I’m actually pretty sad to be reaching this point.
But there are still two more games listed on the Cassette inlay for us to enjoy. The names are promising. Here we go…
Er…there’s no easy way to say this. But the nasty sting in the tail of Cassette 50 is that there are not “50 fantastic games on one cassette” as they promised, but 48. These last two are missing from the Acorn Electron version. After all these months Cassette 50 has managed to have the final laugh, and I am begrudgingly giving it my respect for leading me on this merry dance.
Cassette 50, you evil genius.
See the Commodore 64 version of The Force
See the Atari 8-bit version of The Force
See the ZX81 version of The Force
See the Commodore 64 version of Exchange
See the Vic-20 version of Exchange
See the ZX81 version of Exchange
See the Amstrad version of Exchange
See the Atari 8-bit version of Exchange
It’s a roulette game, and by Cassette 50 standards it’s actually pretty accomplished. I can’t really find anything to be shocked, annoyed or amused by. Sure, it’s a bit clunky, but that is to be expected. I played a few games and won some money, I played a few more and lost some money. It was all OK.
No it wasn’t all OK. There was one thing. One HUGE thing.
If you do manage to lose all your money the game asks you this question…
Cassette 50, you are one sinister compilation aren’t you? (Naturally, I did sell my sister. I got told I was a horrible, horrible person, but it still gave me Ten Grand. Woo!)
Here’s a whole 68 seconds of me playing High Rise. Go enjoy:
See the Commodore 64 version of High Rise
See the Amstrad version of High Rise
See the Atari 8-bit version of High Rise
See the ZX81 version of High Rise
This was the one game I was most excited about revisiting. I remember this being the most enjoyable game on Cassette 50. I know, given the quality of games we have seen so far, that it’s a bit like saying someone is the best Justin Lee Collins impersonator, but stay with me.
The premise was something to do with driving a jet powered milk float around, and delivering all the milk quickly. Let’s get this started up, I can’t wait to play…
OH FUCK YOU CASSETTE 50!
See the Commodore 64 version of Jet Mobile
See the ZX81 version of Jet Mobile
See the ZX Spectrum version of Jet Mobile
See the Vic-20 version of Jet Mobile
See the Atari 8-bit version of Jet Mobile
Note: the BBC Micro version is identical to the Acorn Electron version
In real life, when people parachute out of a plane do they really have to aim for what looks like a mattress that has been left in a field for them to land on?
I didn’t think so, but that is exactly what is happening here. So, your choices are:
- Land on the mattress. It’s old, it’s soiled. There are dubious stains in it. It’s been dragged out of a skip. There are hypodermic needles on it too; or,
- Don’t land on the mattress and break a leg instead.
What would you do…?
See the Commodore 64 version of Parachute (Known as ‘Parachutist’)
See the Atari 8-bit version of Parachute
See the ZX81 version of Parachute
Well, what do you know? I take a break for five minutes so I can have a nice wee and mess around on Twitter, and when I come back some Aliens are stealing my precious fuel. The bastards! Why can’t a man have a slash in peace?
Not only that, they’ve brought a big tanker with them. They don’t want some of my fuel. They want all of it. Good job I’ve got a gun I can shoot them with.
Problem is, I have to shoot them loads of times and they only have to shoot me once. I think I’ll just let them have the fuel. It was a rubbish job guarding that anyway. Why else would the toilet be UP IN SPACE well away from the fuel if it wasn’t a rubbish job? Time for me to update that CV.
See the Commodore 64 version of Tanker(Known as Tanker Rescue)
See the Atari 8-bit version of Tanker
See the ZX81 version of Tanker