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Debris Rescue

Author: Paul Collins Machine Type: Spectrum 16K/48K
Submitted on: 24th of April, 2020 Download or play online

“Here's another one, why not,” greets Paul, as he sends us another crap game just a day after his last entry. Debris Rescue is, simply put, a Frogger-style game, where we must navigate the “scary DEBRIS FIELD”, which becomes trickier to traverse with each level. Unlike his previous game, which relied mostly on luck, this game relies entirely on skill – that skill being patience.

After a short wait for the tape to load, the game begins. The detritus pasture, made up of various punctuation characters, painstakingly scrolls itself into being from the right-hand side of the screen. After the display is sufficiently littered with glyphs, we are given control of our hero, a. We must valiantly journey through to the other side of the refuse meadow, whereupon we can rescue the innocent victim, b. To increase the difficulty of our task, the different layers of the rubbish green move at different speeds (“high-quality parallax scrolling”, according to Paul). Once we have successfully trudged through the litter paddock (that’s enough synonyms for now, Ed.), we meet b and are treated to an ascending tone that rapidly escalates from a reasonable C# to an ear-splitting mosquito tone.

And so the cycle repeats, every level a bit more difficult than the last, until we eventually crash into a stray percentage sign, at which point we return to the first level. No high-scores, no concept of lives, hardly any colour or sound, all running at a speed which wouldn’t even make a snail jealous. The minimalist nature of Debris Rescue might be viewed by lesser mortals as a flaw, but I contest that it allows us to reflect on our situation, to muse in peace and solitude – though if you insist on being entertained, here’s some chilled out yet crap music which fits the mood of the game.

In addition, Paul must have some special programming talents, as he’s managed to make the game run deathly slow even after it’s been compiled with HiSoft, though the original BASIC code is at the end of the tape, and it makes for a treat to play.

In conclusion, Debris Rescue is certainly a crap game, much in the style of Explosion: very little instruction, few measures of progress, one sole objective and simplistic presentation. The difference is that Explosion managed to zip around the screen with raw BASIC, and this can’t even manage a decent walking pace in machine code! You can either download the game or play it online by using the links in the info-box at the top.

Scores

Graphics Sound Gameplay Innovation TOTAL
25% 18% 24% 27% 24%