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Added: 21 Sep 2010
Another classic ZX Spectrum game (one that would run on the 16K Spectrum) that is surely fondly remembered by most.
Horace was a ZX Spectrum Games character that starred in four separate adventures. Horace goes skiing was his second outing on the ZX Spectrum, and was almost 'two games in one'.
The game was coded by William Tang (of Melbourne House fame) and released by Sinclair Research in 1982 - making it one of the early titles for the Sinclair machine.
The first part of the game was getting Horace across the road to the ski hut to purchase the equipment allowing him to ski on the slopes. This part of the game was really very similar to the classic arcade game Frogger - and was a decent rendition to be honest.
At the beginning of the game Horace had $40 to spend. If he was knocked down whilst crossing the (busy) road it cost $10 in ambulance fees. After you had guided Horace across the road, you had to walk him into the door of the hut where he would fetch his skis at a cost of $10.
Horace could not enter the ski hut unless he could afford the hire charge. If Horace had spent all his money on ambulance fees, then it was possible to accumulate points and money by crossing the road repeatedly - very dangerous. At every 1000 points scored Horace received a $10 bonus.
You would notice when doing this that the traffic became more hectic.
Anyway - once you had collected the skis it was time to race back across the road and onto the slopes.
Now the game switched to the actual ski-ing, the second part of the game. You had to slalom down the ski-slope (the Hannekon run), avoiding any trees and going between the flags.
Horace goes on the piste - ZX Spectrum
Points were scored for travelling between the flags - and as before $10 was awarded for every 1000 points gained. Hitting trees caused Horace to fall over - but if his ski's were undamaged then you could carry on down the slope. If they were broken then it was back to the busy highway to purchase them again...
You gained more points for succesfully moving through the end flags - and once you had conquered the slope it was back to that insanely busy road to get your next set of ski's...
Well Hungry Horace had been a popular game on the ZX Spectrum and his next outing proved to be equally as popular. It was quite well received, the colourful graphics and different stages went down well with gamers. In the early days of the ZX Spectrum, arcade games like this were quite amazing...
The test of time:
Well old father time has not been too kind to poor old Horace. But here in Spectrum games we look back at this one with a lot of fondness. It was never a brilliant game (even back then) but it reminds us of that magical time when colour graphics, slightly jerky scrolling and sparse sound effects seemed to be the pinnacle of technological achievements. We also reckon it was written in BASIC - not bad at all if so.
Get out the cowbells and download Horace Goes Skiing for the ZX Spectrum. Alternatively you could try and play it online.
Please see our other ZX Spectrum game reviews - all links are listed in alphabetical order. Cheers guys.
GENRE: Arcade game
RELEASE DATE: 1982
RELEASED BY: Sinclair Research Ltd
DEVELOPER(S): William Tang
PRICE: £1.99 - UK
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