BESIEGING THE BASIC EMBASSY
HOW ANYONE seriously could market a game like the ICL Embassy Siege we may never know. The program is arguably the worst piece of software around for the 16K Spectrum. The player has to enter a three-dimensional representation of the embassy of a foreign power, search for the code room and escape with the codes.
The program is annoying because you have to wait up to three minutes for the maze to be defined. You also have to wait a long time for each 3D position to be drawn on the screen after you have made your move.
The reason for those problems is that most of the program is written in Basic and, as a result, everything is slowed. It almost makes one enquire whether ICL has discovered machine code.
Another side-effect of using Basic is that the clock against which you have to play stops when an operation is being performed by the computer. When you have your finger on the buttons to make a move the time stops ticking away. We managed to enter the code room and finish the game in two seconds.
It is a pity that Sinclair Research had to associate its name with such a program. Embassy Siege can be obtained from Sinclair Research, Freepost, Camberley, Surrey, GU15 3BR. The program costs £4.95.