||Machine Type: Spectrum 48K
|Submitted on: 7th of August, 2020
||Download or play online
p13z has taken the competition name a bit too literally for this entry, entitled Uranus Penetrator. With such opportunity for innuendo and general playground-level humour, this game has lots of potential to be a brilliantly crap game.
The loading screen does not disappoint, with a half-decent illustration of a spaceship flying towards to Uranus, accompanied by the subtitle, “We’re goin’ in”. Once the rest of the program has loaded in, the game itself begins, with the graphics drawing themselves into existence quite quickly for a BASIC program.
The gameplay is fairly self-explanatory: manoeuvre the ship through the cavern, avoid the walls, pick up fuel, and groan at the unamusing innuendos that scroll by. This is frustrated somewhat by the controls. As with all BASIC games, you need to hold the keys down for a certain window of time, just long enough to be detected, but not so long as to be counted twice and send you careening off into certain death, courtesy of a stalagmite. You’ll adapt to it eventually, but it can be somewhat annoying at the start.
The whole game is a continuous scrolling level, divided into three sections of increasing difficulty. Phase 1 (“insertion into the cavern of Uranus”) is fairly simple and allows you to get used to the controls. Phase 2 (“going in deeper”) features somewhat narrower passages, and requires more dexterity. Phase 3 (“getting tighter”) gets really tough, with treacherous, winding tunnels, and a splitting of paths at the end, only one of which is correct. All in all, it lasts only about two minutes, but in that short time, it becomes reasonably challenging.
The innuendos are pretty bog standard – they’re only funny because of how stale they are, though I will admit the final gag with the split pathways caught me off-guard. If you enjoy scatological humour, this one’s right up your alley.
Technically, this is quite impressive. The cavern scrolls at a good speed, horizontally no less, with minimal screen tear. The scroll area is quite expansive, easily covering about twelve screen-lengths. Artistically, it is somewhat lacking, though it does not assault the senses either – graphics are clean and minimal, with sensible colour choices and virtually no attribute clashing, whilst sound is used sparingly for fuel pickups and crashes.
Overall, Uranus Penetrator is a fairly competent BASIC game with some arse jokes plastered on. What it lacks in technical crapness, it makes up for in the blandness of its writing. It is the bran flakes of comedy. If you want to give it a go yourself, you can click on the relevant links in the info-box at the top of this page.