|Author: Daz Peet
||Machine Type: Spectrum 48K
|Submitted on: 13th of July, 2020
||Download or play online
The music industry is notoriously hard to break into. Thousands of aspiring artists have been cast aside by the big labels, and the vast majority of bands are doomed to eternal obscurity. That being said, Daz Peet reckons it’s easy, or so it would seem from the difficulty of his game, Guitar Weirdo, a collection of several famous bass lines butchered to fit in a handful of BEEP statements.
Once we have loaded the tape, the title screen appears. The first thing I notice is that this is one of the few CSSCGC games designed by a team. Daz Peet handled the code, and Lizz Mann designed the graphics. The instructions are simple: repeat the riffs given on your rubber-mat keyboard and you’ll be handsomely rewarded!
First up is Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin. A fairly simple sequence is played out by the computer, with the corresponding notes appearing on screen. Once the riff stops, it’s your turn to replicate it as best you can. As you thrash out the tune, you will notice that the program’s algorithm for performance rating is somewhat deficient. Rhythm and pitch are the two most important things a musician must have, so naturally this game allows you to go out, do the shopping, make yourself dinner and give the house a clean before you need to press the next note. Consideration to the timing of the piece isn’t necessary – as long as you can hit the right string, even if it takes you to next week, you’ll be generously compensated for your “nice shredding”.
Next up is Wall Street Shuffle by 10cc, and much of the same. Press the right keys in your own time, and watch the bank account fill up. If you somehow manage to make an error, you’ll lose a life and forfeit the one hundred pounds. Notice, however, that only the first mistake is counted. You can play the entire sequence wrong and still a single life will be deducted. Of course, there are no bonus lives in this game, so you must play at least three of the five lines correctly.
The phrases get longer and longer each time, though none are particularly taxing. The game ends once you’ve completed all the sequences, or have lost all your lives. Outright failure is met with a screenful of frowning faces, sparkling success gets you a pile of smileys, and middling ability bags you a system reset.
Overall, Guitar Weirdo is a short, brief sojourn through mediocrity, therefore perfectly simulating the lives of many musicians. If you want to play it for some reason, you can click the download link in the info-box at the top of the page.