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Domark Ltd
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Ciaran Brennan
Chris Bourne

Dear Diary, I'm glad to find out that today is a Bratislavian bank holiday, that it's also a good day to attempt to cut out some of my more unsavoury personal habits and that the temperature in Sierra Leone will be somewhere between zero and boiling - but can I now please make some entries of my own?

The Domark twins describe this timely release as 'a little bit of light entertainment' and that it certainly is, combining a series of loosely related sub programs inside a clever and easy to use 'diary' format. The only thing that's missing is the ability to make daily entries (other than the 30 character reminder message), so budding Adrian Moles will have to look elsewhere.

The basic idea is that you load the program up every day. enter the relevant data (the time, your own birthday and so on) and the screen will fill with loads of info including horoscopes, games and personal statistics. However, try as I might, I couldn't get it to remind me to phone my mother on July 7th, but I assume that this is an isolated error as everything else I attempted worked fine.

The games section is quite entertaining, comprising a short trivia teaser, an even shorter hangman outing and the silliest thing I've ever seen on any computer screen - a wordsquare! It's like giving you a blank crossword grid on screen and expecting you to fill it in with a pen.

Other little pieces of daily tomfoolery include a snack recipe (usually consisting of some type of inedible sandwich) and a guide to your own daily bio-rhythms - some sort of scientific way to tell whether you're in a bad mood or not. There's also a section on phone numbers of major software producers, but a quick glance at this was enough to reveal that two out of the first three entries were incorrect so I wouldn't care to think how accurate the whole list is.

The weather forecast section is a bit dubious as well - I mean how can Domark possibly predict the weather for every day of the year? Ian MacCaskill can't manage it and he has the massed technology of the British Met board to consult with.

Silliness aside, this diary will probably be well used in the Brennan household. After all, there are not many programs outside of the games world that provide as much entertainment as this - and it's also a bit useful in its own little way. Give it a try if you fancy stretching your Speccy out of the realm of alien zapping.

Not so much a game, as an entertaining and occasionally useful utility.