HORACE GOES SKIING Saturday 05 November, 2011

Do you remember when games came on cassette? Geek&Spell’s good friend and new games supremo, Brown, does. A quick welcome and then settle down to what he has to say…

The 80’s were a magical time for games. Ok looking back on it now with the likes of the recent battlefield 3 and legend of Zelda on our screens they look like 2 bit road kill. It was however more about the memories that these games left with us that was important. I’m here to share one such memory.

Horace the…ok I’m not entirely sure what Horace is, or indeed was. I feel he was a character born of system limitations rather than actual design. He sort of resembles the hunchback of Notre Dame after a horrific car accident. Actually that’s quite a fitting analogy as most of the game revolves around car accidents. The first half of the game is essentially a direct clone of frogger. You see that’s something you could get away with back then- blatant plagiarism. All you needed to do was slightly change the title of the original game and you were good to go. That name change thing wasn’t even a legality thing either- it was just so they would make sure that they could uniquely market their rip-off game. The boys behind Horace however decided to go a shade bolder and mangle the main character from a delightful green frog to something from the crypt keepers nightmares.

Not only did you get to play a warped version of frogger but should you safely get to the other side of the screen and back you were treated to a brief skiing game. I say brief because pretty much as soon as you start you will crash into a tree. Seriously I don’t think the developers ever planned for you to get past the road section that they probably just wrote three lines of code for the skiing part- and that last line was simply {tree > death/}.

This was the first game I ever played, to my memory, on my dads ZX Spectrum. Did I enjoy it…ever? I guess so, but you know what, there was a point in my life where I used to enjoy eating sand.

Written by Brown from www.quiteenjoy.co.uk for Geek&spell.co.uk

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