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SUICIDE!!!

Author: djnzx48 Machine Type: Spectrum 16K
Submitted on: 7th of January, 2020 Download or play online

SUICIDE is yet another entry that was originally written back in the Spectrum’s heyday. It was written by djnzx48 when they were an “edgy nine-year-old”. Before sending it along to CGC HQ, they “updated it using the minimum amount of effort required to get it into a playable state”. Tut, tut!

Once you type “RUN”, the game begins with a backstory which, thanks to the prudent choice of black ink on blue paper, is pretty much unreadable for today’s average Sinclair users (i.e. middle-aged men). For their benefit, I have reproduced the story text below, in its original form:

SUICIDE!!!

These crazy guys are REALLY angry cos they can’t find any clothes for nerds in hamburger stores. SO THEY’RE COMMITING SUICIDE!

What’s more they’re gonna fall right down onto the beautiful CITY GARDENS! You have got to shoot them down as they fall so they don’t ruin the gardens.

The most striking thing in this story (apart from the ambiguity as to whether they’re looking for nerd clothes in burger shops or for clothes for burger shop nerds) is the startling mix-up of priorities. “Oh goodness, those people are about to end it all! HEY, YOU! PLEASE LAND AWAY FROM THE DAFFODILS!” is essentially the central character’s internal monologue. The young, “edgy” author of this game wasn’t edgy; they were just plain warped.

Anyway, after pontificating upon the author’s mental state, we begin the game with a rather nicely laid out screen, depicting a cliff overlooking the city gardens (odd place for the gardens, but we’ll roll with it). Crazy guys begin to pace down towards the edge of the cliff, throwing themselves off. These guys must’ve learned some tricks from Wile E. Coyote, because they only begin to fall after they’ve cleared the edge by some distance! Once they begin to plummet, you gain control of our so-called hero. Using the cursor keys to move left and right, you position yourself under the unfortunate soul and hit Q to shoot them.

If you succeed in killing them before the ground does, you get to progress to the next tragic victim. The game continues on until you miss a person, who then collides with a tree as they hit the ground, thus ruining the city gardens. A sprawling green-zone, trashed by one solitary tree, felled in unfortunate circumstances. Yes, really.

This little shooting game quickly becomes tedious as it wears on, as each stage is no different from the last, except by how far the person clears the cliff edge. That single variable is determined randomly, not on the basis of the game’s progression. Thus, some stages will serve you an impossible task, as you try to move the length of half the screen to catch the next jumper. How long you last depends in equal measure upon your skill and your luck (and your patience).

Overall, SUICIDE has the feel of an early type-in game. It works decently but the challenge is totally absent: no concept of lives, no sliding difficulty scale, no high-score table. The game is devoid of a reason to play it again. Of course, this works in its favour, with this being a crap games competition. The sound is infrequent but annoying and the graphics are decidedly primitive. Unfortunately, the game’s score is dragged up by its innovation; it's very unusual to see a Spectrum game that deals with a taboo topic (albeit in a tasteless, crass way that only an edgy nine-year-old could write earnestly). You can click on the link in the info-box to grab a copy of this appalling program in TAP format.

Scores

Graphics Sound Gameplay Innovation TOTAL
28% 18% 22% 54% 31%