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Internetless

Author: Manu128k (Twitter) Machine Type: Spectrum 128K
Submitted on: 28th of March, 2020 Download or play online

Our latest entry, Internetless, is a port of Google Chrome’s Dino game, which I’m sure some readers will have played before. Within the game, you play a dinosaur that must run at increasing speeds across a barren landscape, for some reason (the designers must have been sick that day). In the included text file, the author details the various “definitely cool features”, the phrasing of which makes him sound quite insecure about the coolness of said features. These include parallax scrolling, no colour clash (because there’s no colour), and AY sound effects (all three of them).

Upon loading the program, we get a brief cut-scene depicting an attempted connection to a web server, which culminates in a 404 error (an obvious reference to the fact that the Dino game only appears when the connection drops out). Every detail has been copied in exacting detail, even the slowness of the process. This sequence lasts for just under two minutes, but it feels more like ten, so if you intend to return to this game, I recommend you make a snapshot just after this part has finished.

After the sequence has ended, we get into the game proper. Manu128k has really outdone himself here, as he has faithfully reproduced all aspects of the original game, pixel-by-pixel. I was quite impressed actually with the accuracy of his efforts. Only one small part has been missed out – the speed. Being a BASIC program, the dinosaur takes a more leisurely approach than in the original, turning his cross-country sprint into a laid-back meander through a park, diminishing the difficulty of the game somewhat. In addition to this, the collision detection is somewhat hit-and-miss, although it works in our favour, as the game is rather generous with its hit boxes. However, the author has made up for this by just throwing more obstacles at us, including an ever-present vulture that seems to appear just at the wrong moment every time.

The graphics, as stated previously, have been copied pixel-by-pixel, and give the game an authentic feel. Even the bold typeface has been copied, demonstrating a commitment to quality that is to be scorned and ridiculed in this competition. On the flip side, those “definitely cool” AY sound effects don’t make much use of the chip, and could have been done just as well using the BEEP command, rather than making the game a 128K exclusive just so the jump sound can have a nice fade-out for a tenth of a second.

Overall, Internetless is probably one of the best games that the competition has seen so far. The source material has been reproduced fairly faithfully on the surface, but with some major concessions when it comes to the actual gameplay itself. Of course, there is also that tedious starting sequence. However, it still blows all of the other entries so far out of the water. You can download it from the link in the info-box above.

Scores

Graphics Sound Gameplay Innovation TOTAL
73% 21% 53% 15% 41%