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CRL Group PLC
1987
Strategy: Management
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

30,31
Duncan MacDonald
Chris Bourne

Okay, I promise: no jokes or clever remarks about pigs in this review because I know how banal such journalistic trickery can appear. I may be off my bacon, but I'm NOT going to get sausagey about this particular can of pork. (Whoops.)

You get to play Uncle Pigg, proprietor of OINK comic, which, at start of play, is just nine pages of empty panels. The idea is for you to play three 'sub-games' in which you pick up the panels to place in, and hopefilly fill up, the comic. Oh, and as with all publications you have a deadline, in this case three days. Righto, onto the sub-games, which have to be loaded (screeeeam), even on the 128 (hiss).

PETE'S PIMPLE
This is a bat and ball Arkanoid clone. except that it's played like Krakout (okay oh pedantic ones, so it's a Krakout clone then). Completion of each level gains you bonus panels, as does zapping certain symbols with you lasers. Very hard and quite addictive but not as slick as, say, Elite's Batty. (Yo ho! Ed)

RUBBISHMAN
Oh dear, I'm afraid Rubbishman is actually a bit... erm... rubbishy. You have to control Rubbishman's altitude as he flies over hazards and under bridges tio reach the bonus panels you need so badly. You view from above as the monochrome screen scrolls from right to left at about three pictometres a year (i.e. quite slowly). The blurb says you can speed up later in the game but the glacial stealth at the beginning had me so annoyed that I soon gave up. Vaaaaaaarrrgghhhhh!

TOM THUG
Another bird's eye view game, but this time a flick-screen (like Dandy f'rinstance). Move Tom's Thugmobile through the monochromatic maze collecting extra energy, keys and, yep, you guessed it, bonus panels. Rudimentary graphics and a very budgety feel, but quelle surprise, it's actually quite playable - for a while.

OINK is one of those games whose whole (luckily) is rather greater than the sum of its parts. It's not bad, it's not brilliant, it's sort of fun for a bit, it's eeeerrm... well, I think you know what I'm getting at. Anyway, I think I can tell a pig joke now.

Q: What's the difference between a pig and the Empire State Building?

A: Crikey, I wouldn't send you out to buy a tractor! (Eh? Ed)

Three slightly budgety games tied nicely together in a full-price package. There's a challenge in here somewhere.

6/10
7/10
7/10
7/10
7/10