Sinclair User

Every Second Counts
By TV Games
Spectrum 48K/128K

Published in Sinclair User #77

Every Second Counts

There's something indefinably naff about Domark's TV Games label, but someone must be crazed enough to buy games based on Bullseye (smashing, lovely, smashing). Treasure Hunt (what an enormous chopper) or Blockbusters (I'll have a P, please Bob). I think what irritates me most about them is not the games themselves, which are usually about as good as you'd expect, but the leering faces of the quizmasters on the front. For Every Second Counts, you have to tolerate the evil gnome Paul Daniels (and you won't like that a teeny little bit).

What you we have here is basically a quiz game with two types of question; multiple choice and text answers. There are nine blocks of questions which can be loaded from tape, but once you've worked through all of them, the game's come to the end of it's useful life, I suppose.

The game can be played by up to three players or couples. You can select a picture for your character (and a pretty rum lot they are too), then assign a name. The screen shows the players in the centre, and categories of question and alternative answers at the top. Any question requiring a typed answer (rather than just pressing a number key, from 1 to 9), appears in a window at the bottom of the screen.

Every Second Counts

Round one consists of TRUE, FALSE questions, with the teams taking turns until nine questions have been answered. In the second round, you can try up to ten times to answer general knowledge questions, losing one bonus point for each incorrect answer. There are three categories to choose from, including pop music, television, films and so on. and the string matching for text answers is pretty exact (although you can get away with about the first six or seven letters correct).

You then go through the same business again, with harder questions and more points, and the team with the highest score goes on to the last round.

Here the excitement reaches fever pitch as your points are converted into seconds, and you must answer as many questions as possible in the time available. Each time you answer three questions you complete another 'triangle', and your final score is calculated from the number of completed triangles and the time left on the clock. The winners get a car, a holiday for two in Turkey and £10,000. Hah! I was lying! The winners get a screen display of a big clock.

Absolutely uninspired, but not actually an insult to the intelligence, though you'd think the programmers could have learned to spell 'category', Every Second Counts is the kind of package which makes you want to get out into the park for a nice game of football in the sun.

Overall Summary

Competent but uninspiring version of the TV quiz.

Chris Jenkins

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