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Activision Inc
1987
Strategy: Management
£9.99
English
ZX Spectrum 128K
Unspecified custom loader

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33
Ben Stone, Paul Sumner, Mike Dunn
Chris Bourne

All this talk about the new Plus 2 and 128 machines having compatibility problems is apparently a cover-up. What has really happened is that the computers have been invaded. Little Computer People (LCPs) have found their way into the machines and are tap dancing all over the data bases and really messing things up.

The only way to restore order amongst all this chaos is to tempt the little de-bugger out of the works and on to the computer screen. The way to do this is to provide him (they're all male, for some strange reason) with an environment he feels at home in. ACTIVISION have tried to do just that.

Each LCP has a different personality, but something they all have in common is their desire for friendship. Being locked away in all those nasty chips is no fun at all, and LCPs like nothing more than having their hair ruffled, or playing a game of cards with their human companion. To keep the little chap fit and healthy, he needs regular supplies of food and water and some dogfood for his canine chum.

The House That ACTIVISIO built arrives on cassette, and loading it in equips your computer with all that is needed to cater for even the fussiest LCP. The top floor contains a television, stereo, typewriter and piano (most LCPs are brilliant pianists). The middle floor contains the bedroom, bathroom and computer room, and the ground floor contains his kitchen and sitting room.

The LCP leads a very active life, and occupies every minute of the day by pursuing one of his hobbies. Every morning he goes through his work-out routine to keep in shape; he watches television, plays with his computer, phones friends and even dances to his favourite records.

An LCP communicates with his human friend (or 'owner') in a number of ways. He bangs on the inside of the computer screen when he feels that you're not paying him enough attention, and if he's feeling particularly verbose, he may even type you a letter! In this way, keeper and LCP start to build up a rapport and become good friends. Paying lots of attention to the LCP is the best way gain his confidence. LCPs love presents, and by using the relevant keys gifts of all sorts can be left at the door for collection.

If, on the other hand, the LCP is ignored, he becomes very depressed. In serious cases of neglect, if he goes without food or water, he turns a nasty shade of green and goes to bed. Ignore him for too long, and your high-tech 'pet' is likely to fade away forever.

A Little Computer Person needs a lot of attention, but at least he doesn't leave stains on the carpet or scratch the furniture...

CRITICISM

'As a concept for a computer entertainment package this is a good idea. A pet living in your computer, who has his own personality. This pet can be temperamental (even angry) at times, and happy and rewarding at others - brilliant! Unfortunately ACTIVISION seem to have forgotten the limitations of the Spectrum, so a great idea has lost a lot of its impact due to bad screen presentation and sloppy graphics. I'd only recommend this if you are desperate to see your computer doing something different.' BEN

'Yes folks, you can now live your life all over again for the minimal sum of ten pounds. Oh, and you're restricted to your own house - but we'll give you a dog and a new identity ... Sorry, I'm afraid that LCPs aren't really as exciting as that. You have to watch another person live their own life - what could be more boring! LCP may appear cute to start with, but the novelty soon wears off I couldn't really find anything addictive about this game, and I very much doubt that it will have the cult following on the Spectrum that it's got on other machines. Very much a minority interest.' PAUL

'LCPs were all the rage when they first materialised on the Commodore. Looking at it now however, I can't help feeling that it is destined to become boring. The things you can order (ask?) your LCP to do, are limited, and though it may provide a terrific amount of excitement for the first few attempts, the appeal is only there for a while. The graphics are reasonable and colour is used very well on the background furniture. Worth looking at, but I think addictivity is severely limited.' MIKE

COMMENTS
Control keys: (in conjunction with EXTENDED MODE key), F deliver food, W more water, A alarm, D deliver dog food, C ring phone, P scratch back, R deliver record, B deliver book
Joystick: N/A
Use of colour: colourful, if a bit messy
Graphics: a very desirable residence
Sound: effects, depending on what your LCP is doing
Skill levels: one
Screens: one

83%
72%
87%
40%
53%
57%

Screenshot Text

Sitting comfortably in the armchair, LCP phones a friend - you'll never understand his language!

Cameron's Little Computer Person grooves to the beat on the top floor of his house.