Product: Electron Programs
Publisher: Duckworth
Compatibility: Acorn Electron
Reviewed by: John Crane
Originally published in EUG #59

The latest EUG spin-off disc is another collection of 'type in games, utilities and demos' from the book of the same name, originally published by Duckworth in 1984. There are seven games, nine utilities and ten demos.

Put the disc in, SHIFT-BREAK and the menu appears. The games are listed first, followed by the utilities and finally the demos. Each menu item has a letter at the end of the line and you simply select the letter corresponding to the program you want and it runs. No scrolling up or down as on previous "Special EUG" discs. Brilliant!

The games range from a simple Artificial Intelligence-type guessing game (Animals) to a fully joystick-compatible Space Invader shoot 'em up (Space Blaster). There are also three nice adventure game types (Dungeon Level 99, On The Way To The Interview and Muton) where you get told where you are and what's around, then you input where you want to go, etc. I'm not a big gamer but when I do dabble, these are the sort I normally go for.

I'm sure the utilities are also good but unfortunately, this being more of a companion disc (to be used in conjunction with the book), most have little or no instructions. Once you run them, you don't know what to do next or what they are for! If no user input is required, a brief rundown of what the program was doing before it did it would have been good. Ideally, a better option would have been separate documentation files, or even submenus, like those on the EUG discs.

The demos are mostly graphical demos, some B&W, some colour. Most are 3D and a particularly impressive display is that of Trench; a colour (blue background, white drawing) representation of a spaceship flying at speed along a narrow trench with the effect of a planet spinning in the distance. At least that's my own interpretation of it - it's easier to watch than to describe!

Overall then, this is not a bad collection of BASIC programs. Even if you don't own the book, the games include instructions and the demos are nice. It's just a shame that the utilities leave you completely in the dark.