Octopus Mating Simulator
||Machine Type: Spectrum 16K
|Submitted on: 7th of December, 2020
||Download or play online
Kerl sends us his second entry, entitled Octopus Mating Simulator. Unlike AsteroideZX’s game of dubious morals, this game is a study of the beauty of nature, or, as Kerl puts it, “an ambitious allegory of isolation, a lullaby as a 'game over' and a tragic 'you win'”. Continuing with Kerl’s theme of strange genre combinations, this game is categorised as one of “simulation”, “romance” and “stealth”, words not often combined in the same line. But then, Kerl did say this was “ambitious”.
As we start, a caption appears which reads “2020 Lockdown – Dead calm at the Sargasso Sea”. Perhaps if this were an Amiga, we could’ve got David Attenborough to narrate those scant few seconds of context to the mess you are about to witness.
In this game, you play a magneta octopus, who is trying to mate with the black octopus. You do this by shooting your “cream”, as the manual calls it. Every time you change direction, you shoot some “cream”, and your pink bar shrinks by a small amount. Once you overlap the black octopus, the cyan bar begins to fill up, and your magenta bar is slightly replenished.
My slowness to review these entries has actually paid dividends this time – soon after the deadline, Kerl had to issue a correction to the included documentation, because the octopus graphic used in the game (the only quality thing about it) had been lifted from an Investronica title, Rescate del Tesoro, a program which doesn’t seem much more exciting than this one.
I’ll admit, I haven’t been able to win yet. The black octopus moves about too randomly and far too quickly to track them down. I’m not sure what the purpose of the cream is either – it seems not to bear much impact on the behaviour of the other octopus – all it does it deplete my chances of winning. So, I have been doomed to repeated failure, consoled only by a beeper rendition of My Heart Will Go On from Titanic. “Don’t despair Xenomorph”, says the utterly confounding message line.
All in all, Octopus Mating Simulator follows in the tradition of other great Spectrum simulators – one of overreaching and underperforming. If you so desperately want to give it a go (and I don’t know why you would), then the download link is at the top of this page.