A&B Computing


Blockbusters

Author: Jonathan Evans
Publisher: Macsen
Machine: BBC/Electron

 
Published in A&B Computing 2.05

As you may already be aware, Blockbusters is a very popular TV quiz game where two contestants attempt to form a path across a matrix of hexagonals, by answering questions on general knowledge.

This version of the game for the Beeb and Electron from Macsen is quite a faithful reproduction of the original, right down to the theme music played at the beginning.

Each player is allocated a colour, white or blue, and a key with which to interrupt as the questions are slowly written on to the screen. The first player to hit his/her key when they think they know the answer is then given a time limit in which to type it in. Should that player fail, the question is then offered to their opponent to answer. Whoever answers the current question correctly then has control of the displayed matrix and can choose the letter on the hexadonal he wishes to get to. The game ends when one player has completed a path across the matrix in his colour.

Blockbusters

The program has options for sound on/off and allows you to choose the number of games per series and the degree of difficulty. Six sets of questions, several hundred in total, are provided on the cassette and loaded in as data files after the main program.

I found this computer version of Blockbusters most enjoyable to play. The graphics are very close to the TV originals and the game is well implemented overall. One criticism I have is that you are not told the correct answer when you fail to get one right and this prevents the program from being put in an educational category.

The problem of course with this kind of question and answer game is that, having played it a few times, you use up all the questions available. In the case of Blockbusters however, there is an additional program you can purchase: Blockbusters Questionmaster, which supplies further sets of questions and a program to generate question files of your own.

The one single major failing of this program is that when you win, you don't get one of those wonderful prizes that are given out on the TV version!! Apart from that it is good fun and well worthy of recommendation.

Jonathan Evans

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