Unique [1]
1984
Arcade: Action
£5.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

36,37
Chris Bourne

Clerky is to filing cabinets what Psst was to blooming flowers - at least in concept. All Clerky wants to do is GOTO his favourite pub but before he can do that he must GOSUB first. The subroutine in Cierky's life is that he is a filing clerk and a low wage earner. His boss won't let him go until all the filing is done, and he won't earn enough money to afford a drink unless he works hard. Life is made worse by the flying inkpots which try to spill ink all over his shirt front and the publican (being a fusspot) won't let him into the pub if he's be splattered with ink stains. Another problem is the mad typist in the next room who keeps throwing rubbers at him.

On screen, there is a large five-drawer filing cabinet filling the left side of the screen. Clerky floats around in the blue void left, collecting the sheets of paper which are dropped randomly from six slots along the top. The object is simple, catch a paper and run it over to the cabinet. It doesn't matter which drawer you aim for, as soon as you touch any part of the cabinet one of the drawers is filled.

When all five are full you progress to the next screen. On the first, there are only two inkpots, and another is added with each progression. The inkpots dart around all over the playing area, killing Clerky off if one hits him. The rubbers enter from the right and bounce slowly along to the left at the bottom of the screen. Despite indications to the contrary in the scenario, all the game takes place in the office, none of it in the pub. Points are scored for catching a letter and double for filing it.

CRITICISM

'Clerky is by no means a sophisticated computer game. but it is quite playable for all that. There is a start up screen of Clerky leaving home and walking to the office block he works in, with the lift going up to the top floor, but otherwise all the action takes place within the confines of his office and after a bit it seems to get claustrophobic. The characters are reasonably large but the inkpots look as though they kill you off before they really touch you. By the time there are four pots flying around on the screen the game gets very hard. However, there isn't enough variation or overall excitement for it to have any lasting appeal.'

'The idea behind this game is very simple - even idiot-proof, although the game progresses from easy to impossible depending on how many inkpots are flying through the air. The playability of the game is reduced because you can get killed by an inkpot even though it doesn't touch you. This seems strange as they move about with a smooth action. Keyboard responses are very good and well positioned but there is no sign of user-definable keys as mentioned in the insert. Generally I found the game unplayable and of a very primitive nature.'

'Graphics are large but uncolourful and the black inkpots don't show up very well against the dark blue background. The letters float down very nicely. Clerky himself is quite nicely drawn and animated and the way he catches letters on his shoulder is amusing, but overall the game contains little to inspire, quickly becomes very repetitive and progressively unplayable.

COMMENTS
Control keys: Q/A up/down, O/P left/right
Joystick: Kempston, DK Tronics, AGF, Protek
Keyboard play: good positions and responsive
Use of colour: below average
Graphics: uninteresting
Sound: good tunes but generally average in game
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 5
Originality: the idea is neat but the implementation is limited
General Rating: Not very addictive and below average.

60%
40%
38%
68%
20%
30%
43%

Screenshot Text

Empty filing cabinets waiting to be filled, and Clerky with his mind on the pub.