MC Lothlorien Ltd
Steve Hughes
1983
Arcade: Action
£5.95
English
ZX Spectrum 16K
Unspecified custom loader

124
Chris Bourne

10 FOR N = 1 TO 704
20 PRINT INK INT (RND ",,).;, ,P. APER INT (RND * 7);
30 NEXT N

Well it may not be the most stirring on-screen instructions you've ever seen for an arcade game, but it happens to be the beginning of this one. The problem is that some characters within this weeny program listing are flashing and keep disappearing. The cause of their disappearance soon manifests itself - or themselves. Yes folks, you've guessed the problem - there is a bug in the program, or several in fact. Red ones, green ones, purple ones and ones with pink spots on them. They keep nipping around the screen, whipping the CHRS out of the lines and restoring them to one of the four corners. If this goes on for too long there will be serious systems crash (that's crash with a small 'c').

Can you take on the daunting task of micro mouse, whose job is to dash about, collect the errant letters from the four corners, and restore them where they are needed? As fast as you work, the bugs are bugging about like nobuggies business, whipping them out again. Contact with a busy bug delays you, but there is a remedy: a glowing mass of Datakill, run over it, and you're empowered to spray the bugs, which gets rid of them for a few moments, at least until you run into one, then the Datakill is returned to the base of the screen again. Meanwhile those CHRS are all on the blink and vanishing once more.

CRITICISM

'I'm not quite sure why a mouse should be thought of as a debugger (if you'll pardon the expression), but he's quite cutely drawn, so perhaps that's alright. The graphics are all quite large, the bugs especially look very good, with twinkle toe animated legs and very smooth movement. In a sense it's a rather depressing task, Herculean almost, for as hard as you replace the letters, the faster the bugs take them away. Perhaps that's the main drawback to the game, that it doesn't really seem to get anywhere. Still, the getting nowhere is all very jolly and reasonably challenging. I found in the end that I settled for the Datakill and went on a massive bug-killing operation until the system crashed around me.'

'The instructions are a bit average, leaving you to find out really how to play the game. Very unlike Lothlorien. Smooth, above average graphics and a busy screen. I suppose it could be useful teaching BASIC and debugging programs, but otherwise I can't really recommend it.'

'It's a good idea, and the execution is very good, nice large graphics that move very smoothly, but nevertheless it doesn't really have arcade appeal for me. The obvious trouble with it as a game is that no real skill, beyond a straight forward ability to manipulate your micro mouse as swiftly as possible, is called for, so after a few minutes playing it begins to lose its attraction. One good point is that it has user-definable keys. Fun to play but not very addictive. '

COMMENTS
Control keys: definable, four direction and one for fire
Joystick: most types can be catered for with the defineable keys
Keyboard play: responsive, 8-directional
Colour: good
Graphics: above average, very smooth
Sound: average
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 1
General Rating: Average, fun to play but not very addictive.

79%
70%
58%
44%
40%
55%
58%

Screenshot Text

Practice in BASIC programming - may come in useful.