Call Him Horace Review | Personal Computer News - Everygamegoing

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Call Him Horace
By Sinclair Research
Spectrum 16K

 
Published in Personal Computer News #002

Horace Stories

Introduction

Just when you thought microcomputers had nothing more to offer, Psion and Melbourne have come up with the electronic equivalent of the Mr. Men books.

The idea is that one cartoon character - in this case Hungry Horace - is central to a whole series of games.

Hungry Horace has been around since September, and now the first successor, Horace Goes Skiing, has been launched.

The Horace games seem suitable for seven-year-olds and upwards, and run on the 16K or 48K Spectrum.

Objectives

The objectives in both games is to amass points while attempting to prolong Horace's life.

Hungry Horace gives you four lives, and you run round a succession of maze-like parks eating flowers while park-keepers try to catch you.

Horace Goes Skiing gives you $40 to spend on skis and ambulance fees. The idea is to cross a busy road to the ski hire shop.

If you run out of money, you can earn more by pushing your points over pre-set threshold, or by deliberately crossing and recrossing the roads without mishap.

First Impressions

Both Horaces come in attractive packaging. The instructions are clear, although the spelling leaves a little to be desired.

Both games are easy to learn, but hard to master as they become progressively faster and/or more difficult.

In Play

The controls used are 'I' and 'A' for vertical movement and 'I' and 'P' for horizontal. Since you must use a keyboard, these are sensible letters to use.

The idea is to negotiate Horace round a park eating the flowers and being pursued by up to four park-keepers, who are portrayed as ferocious-looking disembodied heads. If a park-keeper drops his lunch of cherries or strawberries, Horace earns extra points by eating it.

Somewhere on each screen a bell is tolling. If Horace gets to the bell, the parkies turn white with fear and their hair stands on end.

'Skiing' uses similar controls, although vertical movement is controlled by the 'Q' and 'Z' keys.

First, Horace has to cross a very busy road in order to get to the ski shop where he buys skis for $10. Then he has to cross back to get on to the ski slope.

If hit by a vehicle, Horace has to stump up a $10 ambulance fee and then attempt to cross the road again.

Once on the ski slope, Horace has to negotiate the usual flags, hillocks and trees. If he hits a tree, he can break his skis. But sometimes he gets away with it. A hillock can send him in any direction and passing between flags increases the points.

Verdict

Neither game is completely original, but both are a lot of fun. Horace, like ET, is a lovable little chap and I think 5.95 is a reasonable price to pay for each of his adventures.

Dave HerbertPeter WorlockDavid Tebbutt