Spectrum 2.0

Review of 'Trashman'

Rating:4 User: winston

Trashman was a fairly unique title at its release - who would have thought of making a game about a dustman's job? Malcom Evans did, and he made a very playable and engaging game out of it.

The task is straightforward - in a limited time, walk the neighbourhood, gather the bins, and empty into the dustcart. But this being the 80s, there are some complications... no traffic calming schemes, so it's all too easy to get run over when crossing the road by a speeding car - and it's all over when you get run down. There's the perennial problem of cyclists riding on the pavement, and being hit by one of those will make your hero limp and move more slowly. Trashman seems to share the same problem as the postman - being chased by dogs who bite (and make him limp).

But there are friendly neighbours, who invite you in for a cup of tea, and this extends your time.

Graphically, the game is clean and well presented, showing a rendition of a typical British suburban main road - complete with lawns that must not be stepped on (on pain of losing time and possibly getting bitten by the family dog) and bins stuck in the most inconvenient place the homeowner could think of. Many of the messages that you get when a home owner invites you in are amusing. The game gives the impression of being well written - the game is responsive to your inputs.

The only annoyance I personally have with this game is that it completely unnecessarily uses a "cursor through each character to enter your name" system when you start a new game, when the Spectrum has a perfectly usable keyboard where you could enter your name ten times more quickly.