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Pat W. Norris
1984
Arcade: Platform
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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52
Dave Nicholls, Ross Holman, Roger Willis
Chris Bourne

Roger: If ever there was an argument in favour of computer-controlled robots replacing human wage slavery in factories, this appalling excuse for a 'game' is it... So mindless is Fred's daily toil that management - which is anybody foolish enough to have bought the program - only demands that he dutifully shuffles from left to right, switching fans on and off.

The surplus value from his labour is created by blowing 'balloon men' along the various factory floors, knocking off point-scoring objects and rising inexorably towards an exit at the top of a single screen. Cheap it may be, but graphics are crude and keyboard control annoyingly imprecise. Each game-cycle, timed in numbers of available 'balloon men' and their related 'lives', is pathetically short. Given 48K of potentially creative programming space, the whole thing's nothing short of an insult!

Unfortunately, Fred showed absolutely no signs of understanding his concrete working class conditions or historical role - he failed to go out on strike. So I pulled the plug and made him redundant instead. Machine code like this could easily change someone's hobby from computing to knitting! 0/5 MISS

Dave: It might have been more fun if the instructions had explained what I was meant to be trying to do... but I doubt it! 0/5 1 MISS

Ross: When I first caught a glimpse of this game, I thought the idea of it was quite novel... but after a few goes I realised that, unfortunately, it's dull, dull, dull! Moving around on-screen proves most frustrating. 1/5 MISS

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