Space Zap - ZXKerl

 What is going on? I am having a run of good games to review. It's nice to see ZXKerl back with another arcade conversion/demake of a game I have never heard of before. Usefully, he provided a video of the original, which I watched before anything else:

I was left thinking how on earth was this going to work as a demake in basic. Not possible. However, ZXKerl has made a cracking version in basic! The screen shots below don't do the game justice, but they were the best I could manage during frantic gameplay (yes really!)

Now don't get me wrong, there are limitations. There are no aliens or satellites, explosions are 'humbler', there is a complete lack of sound and no loading screen!

However Kerl wasn't that please with his creation. He wrote to me to say the game has a much slower speed and that he should have tried two character movement. I did not agree with this. Due the the input delay in BASIC the game is FAST and frantic. Not at all slow.

The game is played with the following controls: QAOP Space. A new live is awarded at 100 000 points.

My main complaint about the game is the slow response of the controls. The asteroids come at me so fast and I am holding O or P hoping that my ship's gun will move to the correct location, but it often does nothing and I die.

The asteroids are fast and relentless, and your ship is slow and unpredictable. So I had some surprise when Kerl got in touch again with an updated version of the game where the asteroids move FASTER!

"This is another alternative where eastern mines move in two character steps. Tell me your opinion when you have time, is it more challenging yet unfair or is it just impossible to reach good scores?"

Actually, this new version seems to play better and I was able to rack up a pretty respectable score, so this is the version I'll upload.

Maybe I am spoilt here but I feel like I have had a run of PRETTY GOOD GAMES, and I include Space Zap in that list! Despite its faults I enjoyed playing it and found it had addictive qualities. I like the clashy explosion effect when you die too, which is a faithful ZX Spectrum de-make of the original.

Final summary

There is no loading screen, no sound, no menu and the game doesn't auto run. It is pure basic. But if this had been a type-in back in the day, I would have enjoyed it and been impressed. Space Zap is faithful to the arcade original (within BASIC limits of course), and fun to play.

Had Space Zap been an original Cassette 50 game, then it would have been one of the better ones.

Well done Kerl. 

Get it here