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Author: AsteroideZX Machine Type: Spectrum 48K
Submitted on: 4th of August, 2020 Download or play online

AsteroideZX has cleaned up his act after his last entry, and sent us a rather more tasteful game called THIS IS CYAN.

One might ask: why, of all colours in the Spectrum’s tiny palette, would the author choose cyan? Well, cyan plays a fundamental role in our perception and culture. According to colorpsychologymeaning.com (yes, they really have websites for that), cyan fosters peaceful behaviours and calmness, rational thinking, thoughtfulness, tidiness and emotional control. It also worsens sleep, and is associated with conceit, selfishness and boastfulness. A bit of a mixed bag there, admittedly, but then every colour has its ups and downs – green with pleasant nature and terrible envy, red with warming love and harrowing danger. Overall, cyan has a pretty good innings… what? Oh yes! The game, yes, I’d almost forgotten.

Anyway, after the tape has loaded in, we get the only instructions we need – “Press C when this is CYAN” (presumably C stands for CYAN). Okay, so press a key to start and the helicopter icon starts flashing like a disco ball.

The idea is to catch the helicopter when it turns CYAN, and thus gain a point. If you miss this period and press C when the helicopter is not CYAN, then you lose a point. In practice, however, this is very hard to pull off – there seems to be a bit of latency in registering your key press, thus rendering the game almost impossible at the speed at which the colours cycle. The only chance you have is either to wait for the colour to “stick” at CYAN for a little bit, have incredible reflexes, or play the game on real hardware where the emulator’s latency doesn’t compound the issue.

The graphic (since there’s only one) is nicely composed, and the title music is a pleasant little Beepola ditty. Yep, that’s what they are.

I managed to beat the game, eventually, and was rewarded with “YOU WIN”. Brilliant. If you lose, you get “GAME OVER”. Yep, good, score handling works.

Overall, THIS IS CYAN ultimately does what it says on the tin, though maybe IS THIS CYAN might’ve been a better title. What little graphics there are are decent, what little music there is fits nicely, and what little gameplay there is frustrating and bland. All in all, it’s a game of very little, written to somehow require a 48K machine!


Graphics Sound Gameplay Innovation TOTAL
41% 34% 8% 13% 24%