Spectrum 2.0

Review of 'SQIJ!'

Rating:1 User: R-Tape

The Spectrum version of SQIJ came into existence in the early 17th Century during a botched attempt by occultists to raise the devil. Instead of Satan, a twisted homunculus of an idea entered the astral plane, struggling and thrashing against the tide, accreting malevolence, until one day in 1987 it found its outlet via the most atrocious hatespunk of Sinclair BASIC the world has ever seen. Then, inexplicably, it was deemed worthy of a cassette release by The Power House and a number of young gamers learned a valuable lesson about human nature.

SQIJ is a very poor game. The best thing about it is that it doesn’t actually work – you have to POKE 23658,0 if you want to play it. The giant sprite does not make up for the ropey graphics, numerous bugs and slow gameplay. It’s nearly impossible to say anything good about it, other than the fact that it’s become a wellspring for banter and an important part of Speccy history.

Although I couldn’t resist taking the piss, I do feel sorry for the author. If he continued as a software developer it’s probably something to miss off the CV. It was intended as an ‘up yours’ gesture to the publisher and get him out of what he presumably saw as an unfair contract (it wouldn’t be the first case of a developer being treated badly), it was never meant to see the light of day. I’d love to hear a ‘warts and all’ account of what process (or very long lunch) lead to The Power House calling his bluff and releasing the bloody thing.

The C64 had a decent version of SQIJ, I gather it was too hard, but it was a proper game with graphics, sound and it ACTUALLY WORKED. This 8 bit inequity was finally put to bed in 2018, when Tardis Remakes released SQIJ 2018.

Rating: Trouble is, 1 is the lowest possible vote, and if the 1 - 5 scale isn't exponential it should really go up to a million.