MONDAY 23 FEBRUARY 1987
9.35: Two packages come into the SU office. The editor gives me one of them. "Review this," he says editorially. The package is The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole. I try to look enthusiastic as an authentic jack-of-all trades journalist should, secretly I am depressed.
9.36: Barry Kent get the other package it is Screaming Diz-busters Attack. It looks dead good. I look at Adrian Mole. It is an adventure. I feel just like I did when I got socks for Christmas instead of a Sony walkman.
9.55: I have loaded the game. My eyes have gone funny from trying to read the text on our crummy television. I have also forgotten to stop the tape where it said.
9.57: I have read the first bit, it is just like the book, I have a feeling of what I now know to be Deja-Vu. I am impressed by the authentic accuracy of the game and yet miffed that I know many of the jokes already. I note that I am learning to be critically balanced already.
10.02: Barry Kent has scored ten million on Screaming Diz-busters, for relaxation he comes to look at Adrian Mole. "Even considering the Spectrum's attribute problems those pictures at the top of the screen are useless," he says. Although he is a barbarian I reluctantly agree with him. His Neanderthal brain is sometimes oddly perceptive.
10.03: I play the game some more, I never have to do more than choose one out of three options or tell the computer to show me some more text. I feel that although my rating is now 'middling schoolboy' I deserve little credit and worry that Pandora will be more impressed by Barry Kent's 13,000057 on Screaming Diz-busters than my pathetic 46% on Adrian Mole.
10.10: I am beginning to think there is almost no connection between what choice you make in the game and what score you get. This is a crucial investigative point and shows my growing maturity as a journalist. Pandora will surely be impressed.
10.12: It only takes about five minutes to work through each section of the game, then you have to keep loading up new segments. So far I have forgotten to stop the tape three times. Barry Kent has been through all the screens of Screaming Diz-busters twelve times and now has a score of twelve because of a bug in the program.
10.15: I have laughed or inwardly smirked whilst playing The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole 15.5 times (a good journalist must base his writings on hard facts according to the Editor so I kept a record). This is more than I laughed at Mugsy but less than I laughed at World Cup Carnival. I feel the phrase 'marginally humourous' hits the right note.
10.20: Although the temptation to write a damning indictment of the game which leaves the page smouldering in an authentic Bernard Levin manner is strong I feel one must be balanced. I must bear in mind that the program might be suitable for younger children who don't want more than three options at a time. Barry Kent says that even young children are better at computer games than me. I ignore him.
10.25: Enough is enough. I have broken the rewind on the tape machine and played through all the game once. I must now commit type to paper but Barry Kent has taken the mains lead.
Label: Virgin Games
Author: Level 9
Reviewer: Graham Taylor
Marginally humourous second game based on the Adrian Mole books. It lacks much sense of involvement.