Tandém Software

Collector Guy
Gunshot Wound Award!

Well, I thought I'd seen everything; A barebones computer, a barebones Operating System, hell, even a Barebones 3d shooter inside a tiny 30k file. I never thought, even in the realm of QB, that' I'd see a barebones nibbles clone!

On to the dirt; the gameplay consists of moving a little blue guy around the screen trying to collect red things. The catch? You slowly go faster and faster. I'm sure you can tell I'm riveted! Ooh! Look! I just collected one! Now I've collected another! And another! Yet another!

I hate to be so hard on this game, but playing for a non-quantifiyable high score feels about as fun as playing one of a million stupid "punch the monkey" advertisements. It's just not worth it! I mean, let's analyze it's closest competitor, nibbles.bas, for a minute. Other than the fact that they're both text based, it's night and day. Nibbles may not be much to look at, but it presents a final goal for the level(collecting all the food), while giving you a tangible "reward" for succeeding(the tail getting longer), and even better, it's got multiple levels! This game has the equivilant of two sets of X and Y co-ordinates, with head at one set and diamond at another.

The graphics, as I've mentioned, are text based. Other than the logo in the beginning, they're not much to look at. The field is surrounded by a yellow border, your character is a blue smiley face, and you collect red diamonds which pop up inside the field. The number you've collected is shown in the top corner.

Oddly enough, this game does boast wave sound, even if it IS very, very bad. First off, without sound support(as in regular Windows 2000), the game locks hard at the title screen. Secondly, the support simply doens't work well with 99% of sound cards today, the intro blasting me with white noise. Finally, the few effects in use aren't very good, and don't add any immersiveness to the game beyond a little "oh neat, it said where I clicked" factor in the menus.

In the end, this isn't a good game. Not at all. It's an example of a game which might have been able to pull itself off with great graphics and great sound. Instead we're stuck with a boring text-based game with flawed sound. I don't recommend it to anyone not looking to mock and ridicule it horribly.

--SJ Zero is the destroyer of hopes and dreams at John Hopkins University.


  Graphics: There are none. It's text based.
  Sound: Incompatible, unavoidable, and just plain bad.
  Gameplay: There are nearly no elements of design at work here. Even a little planning could have made this game infinitely better.