The Black Hole (Atari 8-bit Cassette 50 Game 38)

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I wish everything in life could be as simple as “if you get over the white line you’ll be safe”. I feel I need a white line in my life. Although I could do without the alien chasing me.

See the Commodore 64 version of Black Hole
See the Acorn Electron version of Black Hole
See the ZX81 version of Black Hole

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Black Hole (Commodore 64 Cassette 50 Game 38)

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Now, I’ve played a range of games on Cassette 50 that not only vary wildly in quality (usually towards the awful end of the spectrum), but also bear little relation to their title (Acorn Electron’s Smash the Windows springs immediately to mind).

But this, this takes it to a different level.

Black Hole. You’d assume it was about Space wouldn’t you? Space and spaceships and maybe aliens.  Not this one though. No, this one is about…Snoopy. Yes, Snoopy, Charlie Brown’s dog. The one who likes to lie on top of his kennel. The one from the Peanuts cartoons. And what is the connection to a Black Hole then? Well, you’ll just have to watch my video…

See the Atari 8-bit version of Black Hole
See the Acorn Electron version of Black Hole
See the ZX81 version of Black Hole

Universe (ZX81 Cassette 50 Game 43)

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The Universe. That’s a pretty fucking big place.

ZX81’s RAM. That is not a pretty fucking big place.

How to fit the Universe into a Cassette 50 ZX81 game then?

Well, the answer, as you might expect, is quite badly. Apparently I am to save THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE single handedly by tempting some dangerous antimatter clouds into black holes, all the while trying not to fly into the cloud or the black holes myself. And then I have to run off to the EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE. You know, that infinite thing that has no end. Yes, the edge of that.

Suffice to say, given the gargantuan task I’m not surprised to see a  “You’ve failed to save the universe” message. Just before a black hole sucks my face off, and not in a good way like a girl in a club in Bolton would in the late 90s.

See the Commodore 64 version of Universe
See the Atari 8-bit version of Universe
See the Acorn Electron version of Universe

Black Hole (ZX81 Cassette 50 Game 38)

zx81 38 black hole
When I was at school my friend Tom made a joke about astronomy but wasn’t really about astronomy, it was about a girl’s front bottom, which he likened to a black hole. Not many people got it, but I did because I was rude.

Now, x numbers of years later, I am trying to fathom exactly what this game is all about and I’m coming to the conclusion it isn’t about astronomy either. But neither is it about front bottoms. Not unless you are in possession of a front bottom that occasionally spews up numbers for no discernible reason and makes you go back to the start of the game.

FRONT BOTTOMS.

See the Commodore 64 version of Black Hole
See the Atari 8-bit version of Black Hole
See the Acorn Electron version of Black Hole

Universe (Acorn Electron Cassette 50 Game 43)

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Note: the BBC Micro version is identical to the Acorn Electron version

Yet more certain death in space from Cassette 50. The maudlin bastard.

Here you have to go and rescue people from planets before an exploding sun destroys them. The flaw being that there are 10 planets to save, and if you don’t save all ten you can’t win the game and get destroyed anyway, while Cassette 50 rocks back and forth laughing at your burning face and screaming cargo.

I hate you Cassette 50. And yet I love you too.

See the Commodore 64 version of Universe
See the Atari 8-bit version of Universe
See the ZX81 version of Universe

Black Hole (Acorn Electron Cassette 50 Game 38)

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Note: the BBC Micro version is identical to the Acorn Electron version

Let’s get this straight. You want me to go and get sucked into a black hole without knowing where I’ll come out, and when I do I’ll get chased by an Alien who wants to kill me and do a sex on my dead body?

But if I get over that blue line everything will be OK and I won’t get killed and fiddled with by a necrophiliac monster from outer space?

Why can’t I just go over the line without going into the black hole and having the threat of death hovering over me?

Your idea of fun is very, very twisted Cassette 50.

See the Commodore 64 version of Black Hole
See the Atari 8-bit version of Black Hole
See the ZX81 version of Black Hole