The most depressing ZX Spectrum games ever?

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PeteProdge
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The most depressing ZX Spectrum games ever?

Post by PeteProdge » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:37 pm

That's what Mr Biffo is musing on in his recent blog entry...
https://www.digitiser2000.com/main-page ... games-ever

It covers...
  • Urban Upstart
  • Soho Sex Quest
  • Super Trolley
  • Trashman
  • EastEnders
  • Andy Capp
  • Grange Hill
  • The Archers
  • A Day In The Life
  • Flunky
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Nomad
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Re: The most depressing ZX Spectrum games ever?

Post by Nomad » Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:02 pm

Nah, I once got a +3 disk game from a charity shop. It was 1 pound. :lol: I spent the whole journey back home imagining how great the experience of having another disk game for my spectrum was going to be. How fast it was going to load and wondered how strong a chess game I was going to get out of this program..

Imagine my disappointment as I loaded the disk only to find it was blank. :lol:

I figured 'I am still ok - I got myself a spectrum disk I can use..' Nope.. the disk became unreadable a few days later.

Now that is depressing.
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Ralf
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Re: The most depressing ZX Spectrum games ever?

Post by Ralf » Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:22 pm

It's a good, deeper read that you don't have often these days. It's almost educational, I actually learnt a few things from it.
But...

Are these games really "depressing"? Did you ever consider "Trashman", "Flunky" or "Andy Capp" depressing?
I would say they are rather funny.

And you know what all these games have in common?

They are all set in Britain in the 80s. Not in America, not in some fantasy land or on some remote planet but in more or less realistic UK.

Maybe it's just me but I have impression that the writer simply doesn't like UK or maybe doesn't like 80's UK so he finds everything about it
depressing.

Well, I suppose he didn't live in the 80s in Eastern Block ;)
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Re: The most depressing ZX Spectrum games ever?

Post by Joefish » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:36 pm

I would have suggested Adrian Mole, a miserable text adventure adaptation of a desperately miserable 'funny' book.

Although the standards of proofreading evident in that article aren't exactly inspiring either...
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Re: The most depressing ZX Spectrum games ever?

Post by R-Tape » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:59 pm

Ralf wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:22 pm
Well, I suppose he didn't live in the 80s in Eastern Block ;)
They were busy making things like Galactic Gunners...
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Re: The most depressing ZX Spectrum games ever?

Post by Joefish » Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:40 am

Advanced Political Dissident Extermination Simulator.
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Re: The most depressing ZX Spectrum games ever?

Post by Kweepa » Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:01 am

Dark! Definitely crap games comp material!
Interesting that the blogger wrote for EastEnders...
I'd say he's looking at them as black comedy, and not as actually depressing, given the somewhat tongue in cheek writing style.
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R-Tape
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Re: The most depressing ZX Spectrum games ever?

Post by R-Tape » Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:55 am

PeteProdge wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:37 pm
[*]The Archers
Did anyone actually buy this?
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Nomad
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Re: The most depressing ZX Spectrum games ever?

Post by Nomad » Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:06 am

Depends where you grew up in the UK during the 80s. :lol: There was an image that was pushed to the outside world but when you looked closely there were lots of 'not quite right' stuff going on. I think this was reflected in the games at the time as well as the culture. You see it in books/comics also.

For example. I would often be told by my father 'Why do you want to stay in a POW camp? You know how many died their?' When I would ask my parents 'Lets stay in Butlins/Pontins this year.' :lol: Unbelievably - this was actually true. The sea side holiday resorts were for the most part former POW camps that were converted after the prisoners either died or were sent home (mid to late 1950s I think).

So you had members of local population taking their vacations in former POW camps. I think that points to how grim the 80s were for many normal people.. :lol:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/trainsand ... 772566059/

Not to knock the country, it just there were many things like that. You had all these buildings and land that had just fallen into decay. Much of the industry had been closed and the sites were just left in ruins. Steel works, coal mines, manufacturing sites. I spent my childhood playing in the ruins of these places (I used to collect the machinery parts I found interesting, you could find stuff like drill bits, blasting caps, all kinds of bits and bobs just discarded.)

Why would kids be playing in abandoned industrial sites? Because there were no structured activities that didn't cost money or didn't have creepy guys running them. (I often am very thankful my parents didn't think it was worth paying for me to join the boys club :lol: )

Ok it is not quite so bleak as Poland would have been during the 80s (I would imagine) But to compare, the rural places outside of Lodz are very very similar to what you will find in the South west of the UK. I was shocked.

Much of the music of that period reflected the landscape - especially stuff like sinth pop.
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Re: The most depressing ZX Spectrum games ever?

Post by Alessandro » Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:56 am

Trashman, Andy Capp, Flunky, A Day In The Life are quite funny games in their own right - heck , in the last one, you even get to play as Uncle Clive himself! :lol: On the other hand, I never watched East Enders (it was never broadcast down here), but if it was as bad as the game, then it would not have been exactly an uplifting experience, I think.

Image

That said, I wouldn't want to enter "shameless plug" mode, honest, but I believe the most depressing Spectrum game ever is that short text adventure I created for the CSSCGC 2015, The Trunk, based on Dalton Trumbo's Johnny Got His Gun movie. What I put at the beginning explains it all: This game is bleak, painful and unpleasant - just like war itself. Don't say you weren't warned.

You take the role of a hospitalized American WWI soldier who, after having been hit by artillery fire, lost his limbs and is blind, deaf and dumb, and so heavily sedated that he suffers from religious-themed hallucinations (there is a short cutscene in the middle of the game reflecting this).

I put some touches of black humor here and there (e.g. the doctors' dialogue at the beginning), but I think the final result is altogether very sad and depressing. Again, just like war itself.
SpoilerShow
The game does not end, or better said, it freezes when you are finally aware that no one will put you out of your misery and you will spend the rest of your life lying in a hospital bed as a human trunk, hence the title.
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