8th Day Software
1987
Adventure: Text
£3.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

42,43
Gary Rook
Chris Bourne

If you like Spitting Image style humour, and don't rate Ronnie Reagan as a world-class thinker, then you're going to love this wonderfully tacky little adventure from Eighth Day.

Eighth Day is a small outfit working using Gilsoft's Quill add-on utilities to turn out no-frills adventures at a very decent price.

But that doesn't stop them producing adventures which look more like they've had the attention of a whole dormitory full of backroom boys. Eighth Day scores consistently highly on both plot and on screen presentation, and has done for two or three years now.

The latest package from their headquarters in deepest Merseyside is a subversive little number called Ronnie Goes to Hollywood, which is certain to get them top billing on the CIA's computer list of dangerous free radicals.

An irreverent treatment in words and pictures (text and graphics in other words) of the day-to-day tribulations of being the leader of the free world and having to run a country at the same time as getting your toupee to stay on. You have to juggle the problems of the world while keeping your popularity up and your truss straight.

If you don't perform properly (on television), then you run the very real danger of being impeached. That's an American word meaning you lose.

You begin the game safe and snug in your bed at the White House. Or not so safe, as there's a rather nasty looking limpet mine ticking away at the bottom of your bed. To action! Pausing only to find your wig, your truss and your clothes, you have to sally forth and deal with the White House Press Corps.

From the White House, your peregrinations will take you on a fascinating journey involving side trips to a message parlour, the headquarters of the CIA, the Russian Embassy, Ireland, Geneva and, of course, Hollywood. As the old sixties radicals used to say, make tracks not war.

Along the way, you are going to have to expose fiendish and utterly heinous plots by those infiltrating Commie chaps, and enlist the aid of those good ole boys, the all-American heroes Frank Sinatra and his Italian buddies, the Seventh Cavalry and the Ku Klux Klan.

With that sort of help, how can you fail to make democracy safe for the world again?

The text is pretty straightforward, with clean, snappy location descriptions and no superfluous persiflage (leave it out with the fancy stuff - Ed) or unnecessary words. The graphics, of which there are around fifteen, are excellent, each cleverly presented to look like frames from a movie.

Everything moves along at a fast pace, and there seem to be few problems communicating with the program.

Unfortunately, simply solving the adventure as such isn't enough with this program. At all times, you have to be constantly keeping an eye on your greatest enemy - the great American public. Yes, if your popularity ever falls below that of the latest game show host or cult guru, you could be in trouble. Become too unpopular, and you'll get ousted as president.

You can keep an eye on your popularity by typing in Score, which will tell you how many people love you and, every so often, you'll get the opportunity to make really important decisions about the day to day problems of running the world's greatest democracy. Various options will be presented on the White House computer screen, and it will be up to you to choose the right one.

It's all fairly zippy and amusing, as well as being subversive in the extreme. There is plenty to laugh at. as well as a fair amount to wince at.

An excellent spoof, in fact.

Label: Eighth Day, 18 Flaxhill, Moreton, Wirral, Merseyside L46 7UH
Author: Michael White
Price: £3.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Gary Rook

Excellent spoof adventure from a now well established budget company. Well worth the money.

9/10