1986
Arcade: Maze
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Alkatraz Protection System

20
Chris Bourne

Our hero's parents are obviously rather scatterbrained people as they've christened their son Thingy. In fact this absent-mindedness runs in the family because Thingy refers to everyday objects around him as doodahs and thingummybobs. Is it any wonder that a lad so dim has managed to loose his precious Spectrum? Thingy has to scamper round trying to get £60 together so that he can buy a new one before his parents find out that it's missing.

(Budget game, budget Spectrum!) The Thingy household is chaotic and Thingy can find a bit of the money which he so desperately needs just by hunting through his brother's bedroom and other rooms in the building.

However, some of the money belongs to the Doodahs and they are understandably reluctant to part with it just so Thingy can buy himself a new computer. They manifest themselves in various hideous forms and set out to terrorise Thingy wherever he goes. There are different sorts of Doodahs. The most deadly are the vicious Whatsisnames. Others reside under the splendid titles of Thingummybobs, Whatchamacaltits and the fiendish So-and-sos. These perishing little objects never give up trying to protect their cash. Contact with the nasties costs Thingy one of his ten lives.

At the side of the main screen a panel shows Thingy's progress in the game. At the top is a box showing how much money he has managed to collect and below the cashometer a pink box reveals Thingy's lives.

Will Thingy be able to replace his Spectrum in time? Or will he suffer the tortures of withdrawal symptoms first? Only you can answer this.

CRITICISM

'What a strange name for a typical budget game! The graphics are very small and contain very little animation. Colour is used lavishly but clashes aren't too much of a problem as the characters are all fitted in their own little space. I don't think the game is very playable as it lacks constant speed of travel - the screen locks up when there's a lot on it - and you're limited to four directions. This is definitely the worst game that AMERICANA have brought out so far. It is totally unoriginal and, at three pounds, overpriced.'

'The loading screen is fantastic: in over two years of games colourful, pretty and interesting screen, and the way it loads up even knocks Fighting Warrior into a cocked hat. Unfortunately, the game itself fails short, playing in a similar way to JSW and the like. The graphics are of an average standard for this type of game: the characters are all nicely animated, but are small and badly detailed. The sound is not good- there are a few well placed spot effects and a dire tune which you can turn off if it annoys you. Thingy and the Doodahs is not an unplayable game and it represents quite good value for just three pounds but it didn't really appeal to me. It is unoriginal and rather out of date.'

'Ah, poor Thingy has broken his Spectrum; what a wally as it says on the inlay! Honestly, if this is the sort of game he plays on it, then I'd leave it broken, and buy another computer, because this is the sort of low quality cheapy game that gives us Spectrum owners a bad name among the other computer users of this world. The loading screen is very good, in the way that the picture draws from the bottom corner up. The graphics, though are very primitive, and the game itself is unplayable to a very great degree. Though low in price, as far as I'm concerned, Thingy can keep his Doodahs, because I don't want them, that 's for sure.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: Q up, A down, O left, P right. X pause, C un-pause, Z tune on, CAPS SHIFT tune off
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Interface 2
Keyboard play: responsive
Use of colour bright and cheerful
Graphics: simplistic
Sound: awful tune
Skill levels: one
Screens: over 200
General Rating: A fairly basic game.

44%
42%
39%
45%
36%
43%
39%

Screenshot Text

Thingy walks towards the bed in search of another proud coin for his Spectrum fund. He's the little guy above the alarm clock.