Matt Rudge sends us yet another spectacle, this time entitled Sir Clive’s C5 Adventure. Written for the Sinclair Birthday challenge, it casts our beloved baldy boffin in a devastated post-COVID post-climate change world. “All that is left of the, once proud, county of Essex is a dry, yellow wasteland and improbably high mountains”, reads the documentation. Our hero, Clive Sinclair, is on a reconnaissance mission to marry one of the cast members of The Only Way Is Essex, but finds himself face to face with the harsh landscape. Luckily, he gets to whiz through in his “trusty” C5. There’s only one catch – this particular electric tricycle has a habit of detonating in spectacular fashion when it hits a bump. Never fear, though, for the resourceful Sir Clive has fitted a turbo boost, enabling the pedal cycle to leap “majestically” over the debris of post-capitalist hubris.
Once the tape has loaded, we are presented with the instructions. All you need to know is that M is the jump key. After we’ve pressed a key, prompted by the dazzling disco-coloured message, we are transported to the ruins of Essex, and are presented with the mountains (nicely overlaid tortilla chips), the Sun (brilliant use of the CIRCLE command), the game’s title at the top, just in case you forgot what tape you’d put in the recorder, and Clive himself, living up to his ‘egghead’ moniker.
Slithering towards the rocks, one must press M to avoid total catastrophe. It doesn’t register, and a life is taken. Then one holds M to make sure it gets registered, and notices that it sticks the program, with Clive flickering like mad. Then one realises that one can just keep pressing the M key over and over, and… ladies and gentlemen, we have found the strategy.
Yes, to win this game, just keep pressing M, and Clive will happily hover above the rubble until you get sick of the game and turn it off, your finger goes numb and you have to stop, or the program bugs out with “6 Number too big”. Apart from that, there’s nothing else to this particular entry. Just keep pressing M and you’ll continue to exist. It is the Spectrum’s answer to Desert Bus. If you do manage to lose all your lives (in which case, bravo), you’ll get asked whether you want to play again. Note, however, that you will play again – the program loops back no matter what you tell it.
All in all, Sir Clive’s C5 Adventure is just that – an adventure with Sir Clive in his C5. There’s nothing more to say really. With its one-button controls, this could be adapted quite successfully to a simple mobile time-waster, though of course, for a wider audience, you’d need to adapt the main character. Perhaps you could guide Elon Musk through the arid dust bowls of America, leaping over rocks in a Tesla car.