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ZX Spectrum 48K

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Kati Hamza
Chris Bourne

Wobbly. That's how I felt when they told me. Wobbly, weak-kneed and overwhelmed. I mean - little old moi reviewing a game about the greatest jumper-wearing, lolloping Liverpudlian centre back of them all? There are people who'd kill to get as close to Emlyn Hughes as this! I had to take a deep breath, I can tell you. Then, jibbering with the thrill and excitement of the thing, I loaded Arcade Quiz.

Immediately I encountered Disappointment Number One. Emlyn Hughes Arcade Quiz has about as much to do with football as it has with gnat-farming in Timbuctoo. In fact, the questions are strictly 'general knowledge' with the odd smattering of tasty footy gems thrown in.

It looks and plays exactly like a pub trivia game. The object is to get from one side of the screen to other by moving across a bunch of natty squares interconnect. A lot of them are question squares, a few are devious spinning squares and traps, and some are covered in bonuses or the odd piece of cash. (If you don't pick up a big-enough wad you can't afford a ticket to the next level even if you win.)

Now here's the sneaky bit - if you're slowed down by traps (or just plain thick) the scrolling finally catches up with you and pushes you off the screen - game over. The graphics and sound aren't too hot, but so far it looks like a neat little trivia number.

Right. Off I go. Question Number One. Who did the zany animation for Many Python's Flying Circus? A) Terry Gilliam; B) Michael Palin; C) Graham Chapman? I know it, I know it! It's A! (Cor-rect) Okay, let's have a look at Question Two. What is the name of the dog in Neighbours? Erm... Bouncer, obviously (So far so good, eh?) Question Three. What public school did Winston Churchill attend? Haven't the foggiest. Does anyone in the office know? Erm, no. Do any of my friends know? No, I'm stuck. The questions in Emlyn Hughes Arcade Quiz are either super-easy or rather obscure. Put it another way I'd say they're simply not very good. Disappointment Number Two.

Now, what's the capital of Scotland? You know and I (and even Emlyn) know that capital of the place nobody knows what the men wear under their kilts is Edinburgh. But this game doesn't. Sometimes it tips Aberdeen or Glasgow for the job instead! Disappointment Number Three.

And as for the Big Em, all you really get to see of him are a few monochrome head and jumper shots of the king of the v-necks, smiling (if you're doing well) or covering his face in shame (if you're not). Which is probably the only saving grace of the game actually. All of which brings me to the following sorry conclusion.

1) Winning cash bonuses isn't exciting unless there's real cash involved.

2) Quizzes aren't much fun if you know most of the answers in advance.

3) Don't ask Audiogenic if you want to pass your Geography O-Level.

And my final verdict? I'll give you three guesses. A) A superb and challenging arcade quiz full of top knotch questions and clever little touches; B) An okay-dokey little number but nothing too exciting; C) A fairly neatly-designed arcade quiz marred by crap questions? (The answer's at the bottom.)

A fairly neatly-designed arcade quiz marred by crap questions. (Avoid it.)


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Recognise him? Yep, it's the great toe-poking impressario himself - the man who has as many jumpers as a kangaroo convention (a lot) - the marvellous, the amazingly spooky Emlyn Hughes.

And here I am in the bonus round. More cash on offer if I get the questions right. Can you guess the answer?

With questions like this you sometimes wonder why it's not Magnus Magnusson leering down at you instead!