Funny Games - Alcatraz Harry - Classic ZX Spectrum Game

Alcatrazz Harry ZX Spectrum
Ahh now a real cult classic game from the obscure annals of ZX Spectrum gaming.

Written in BASIC and looking like an early 1982 game, this title from Mastertronic was one of those 'so bad it's good' kind of efforts. Well almost.

Flickery characters, UDG's, spot effects that were laughable and spartan backgrounds made up this prison break style computer game.

In fact, the game so limited playing it was a prison sentence in itself.

The Loading Screen Set Your Expectation Level

The aim of the game was to escape from a prison that looks nothing like Alcatraz by collecting a bunch of tools and equipment dotted around the locations (there were a lot of very 'samey' looking screens).

It was possible to take short-cuts though by using some already constructed tunnels ('Harry'?) to make your progress less arduous.

Avoid those guards at all costs otherwise our poor hero would end up getting his head shot off in a humorous game over sequence.

Those are the real graphics. Honest!

Look, the game was duller than an interview with Richard Madely. Your character looks like he has hooves for hands and walks like he's crapped his pants more than once. The loading screen looks like a rejected entry for Tony Hart's gallery. 

But all of this comes together to make you smile. Maybe not for long, but load it up and you will laugh and wonder how games like this were still being released in 1984.

Still, it's not as bad as Flight Path 737!

Check out the hilarious game over sequence!

Classic Games, Arcade Games and Funny Games


Funny Games - Psycho Pigs U.X.B - Classic ZX Spectrum Game

Psycho Pigs U.X.B
This release from US Gold in 1988 for the good old ZX Spectrum was a fine blend of humour and arcade action.

It was met with generally positive reviews back in the day and was always worth a chuckle.

The title was so unusual it is a classic game that is well remembered by many. It is also a game that was worked on by talented developer Peter Gough who we were lucky enough to talk to a while back.

Anyway, this is the next of our Funny Games to be looked at on our favourite ever 8-bit machine.

Great Loading Screen, Great Title
This game was coin-op conversion of an arcade machine called 'Pigs And Bombers'. The machine was never imported into the UK back in the day so not many people actually got to see it first hand.

So, let's have a butchers once again!

After a brief introductory sequence showing the other porky contestants the playing area is revealed and your pig enters the gaming area from the left.

Displayed on screen are your porky opponents and a bunch of bombs with numbers on them. The referee blows his whistle and the game begins.

Moving at speed your opponents run about the screen, pick up bombs before ejecting their explosive payloads; usually in your direction.

You have to do much the same thing; the object being to turn them into BBQ'd pork while dodging about and saving your own bacon. Ahem.

Squeel Like A Piggy Boy!

Once the game is underway the action is frenetic. The bombs bounce around the screen nicely and take out plenty of meat in a localised blast.

If any of them come to rest then the numbering system becomes all important.

Seconds tick away visually, until at three seconds the bomb begins to flash. Now would be a good time to step away from the flasher...

As you progress through the game it becomes more difficult; the initial countdown number on the bombs is reduced, some of the bombs start a count down without even being picked up and the other players become harder to kill. Some will need multiple hits before you can stick them between two slices of bread.

Occasionally a deceased opponent will leave a power-up icon behind. These will give you extra powers such as: throw further, blast protection suit, wider explosion field and a nice speed boost. Between levels there is a sub-game to give you a chance to increase your score.

The mini-game lasts for about one minute. Pigs will pop their heads up out of holes in the ground (in a whack-a-mole stylee). What you have to do is run around planting kisses on their gobs (yuk) before they disappear again.

The more sloppies you deliver, the more points you get; and what do points make? Well, a higher final score I suppose.

The graphics are animated nicely and as far as sound goes it is spot effects on 48K version, but on a 128K machine there is a snappy continuous tune.

For more laughs try the two-player option, the best link-up you'll have in a while :-)

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Funny Games