ZX Spectrum 48K

Chris Bourne

Last month we announced in the News Input of CRASH that C.C.S. were launching a range of new low-price games under the sub-heading of Charlie Charlie Sugar software. Rainy Day, is rather aptly named, a collection of puzzle games to while away the dull rainy days. Fate decreed a hot summer - never mind!

There are three different types of game included, each accessible from the front end of the program. The Puzzle unit offers you the choice of ten small pictures which must be sorted out. The complete picture is shown on the left of the screen, whilst on the right it is shown with all its character blocks muddled up. A yellow cursor block acts as a shuffling space so you can move the picture blocks about to rearrange them. The time it takes and the number of moves you make are soon shown on screen along with best times and best moves. The cursor block is moved appropriately enough with the cursor keys or a joystick.

The Codebreaker is an unusually elegant version of Mastercode, the game where you have to guess a combination in a limited number of goes. In this case the combination is a safe locking number in five digits. After each guess you are told how many numbers are correct but in the wrong position and how many numbers are correct in the right position. 15 attempts are allowed and a time limit which runs down to zero.

The third item is a Reaction Tester. A black coloured ball is dropped from the top of the screen into a glass of liquid. The object is to interrupt with a key as fast as possible so that the ball hardly drops at all. Witty comments are attached to the various level markers which judge your performance. The droptime displayed is in 1/100s of a second.


'Three games in one, I thought, can't be good. Well two of the three aren't bad at all - this is for puzzle type games. Codebreaker is a non-complicated version of Mastermind types and I found this worked quite well. Finding the correct code will open the safe and play a tune. I found the Puzzle Unit very difficult to complete, perhaps it would have been easier if a group of people tried to solve it - good for families. I thought the Reaction Tester was a bit pointless, but it makes a little break between the others. In this trio of games, colour has been well used but sound is only a frill and doesn't make any difference to the playing of them. Rainy Day is well priced for its contents.'

'The playing appeal of games like these is pretty limited, although the two main puzzles will probably find families with very young children enjoying them as a group participation. Neither the picture shuffling nor the code breaking is new - Corridors of Genon incorporated the code element and we've seen other compilation games with it, but I thought this version was well presented if graphically unexciting. On the whole reasonable value for money, but not generally recommended unless you particularly enjoy puzzles.'

Control keys: cursors. O to return to menu, 9 to swap a piece
Joystick: AGF, Protek, ZX 1
Keyboard play: reasonable
Use of colour: well used
Graphics: average
Sound: limited
Skill levels: I
Originality: all ingredients seen before in various forms
General Rating: Reasonable value for money, hardly an addictive sort of game, probably good for families and younger children.


Screenshot Text

The three screens of Rainy Day, (top) the reaction tester, (middle) rearranging Liverpool in the puzzle unit, (bottom) trying to open the safe in the code breaker.