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Dog Track Simulator

Author: Tomás P. Machine Type: Spectrum 48K
Submitted on: 30th of April, 2020 Download or play online

Somebody get Codemasters on the phone, they’re going to love this: Tomás P. has just sent us Dog Track Simulator! Yes, one can never have too many simulator games when it comes to the ZX Spectrum, or too many gambling games either, so this package is the perfect bundle. “Free day in the Dog Track, enjoy a day with or without family, betting without limit!” Finally, I can live out my dreams of ending up in crippling debt without actually having my legs broken!

After loading the game, we are presented with a neatly laid out screen depicting the racetrack. The first choice is which pooch we should bet our hard-earned dosh on. Obviously, we have to consider many things here, such as the odds on each competitor, their form and what type of bet to place. Dog Track Simulator helps us here by supplying no information whatsoever. You just have to make a random guess and hope that your dog wins. Thankfully there’s only four dogs to pick from, so you at least have a 25% chance of winning.

Once we have made our wager, the starter’s pistol is fired (or perhaps it’s a toy slime gun, what with it exclaiming “GOO!”). The mutts pace down the track very realistically, moving in 8-pixel increments, somehow seeming to glide along the track while their paws are stuck on the ground. As the winner crosses the finish line, we get to hear its haunting, digitised cry through the beeper, as the display proclaims “THE RACE WINS THE NUMBER 3 [sic]”. I haven’t a clue how the pay-out is calculated in the absence of odds, and I’ll never be able to find out, since this program has been compiled into machine code. Not that I was that bothered anyway...

So the cycle repeats, betting, losing, and occasionally winning. If you do ever run out of money, then your account is replenished with a Wonga payday loan (good luck paying back the interest on that). At least Tomás has lived up to the promise of “betting without limit”.

All in all, Dog Track Simulator is one sick dog that ought to be put down. No incentive for winning or losing, endless betting and hollow reward. Not even David Darling could give this one a favourable assessment. As such, it rightly earns its place in the Cavalcade of Crap, amongst all the other half-baked gambling games. If there’s one silver lining to this competition, it’s that we now fully understand the Spectrum community’s worryingly intense interest in gambling.

Scores

Graphics Sound Gameplay Innovation TOTAL
25% 28% 13% 18% 21%