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Try to avoid getting in a jam in Stuart Bain's fast arcade game

GOBBLER GOBBLER is a superb variation on that old arcade favourite, PAC MAN. For those that have never seen the game - and it's hard to believe that there is anyone who hasn't! - the object is to guide your little man around a complex maze in search of raspberry jam tarts. These are littered all over the place and simply running over one enables you to gobble it up.

Two monstrous ghostly creatures inhabit the maze and devour anyone who dares enter. Watch out for these craft devils, as they sneak up behind you and pounce when you least expect it.

You have three lives, and if you manage to gobble up all the jam tarts you'll be transported to another maze, with even meaner adversaries.

S(19,19) Array to store the maze
L The level
sc The score
m Number of men left
A%(1) Coordinates of monster 1
B%(1) Coordinates of monster 2
X% Your x coordinate
Y% Your y coordinate

Never more than two monsters chase you, but they get faster as each screen is complete - without any apparent loss of speed in your character's movement.

Although GOBBLER isn't by any means a new idea in arcade games, dating as it does back to the very early days of computers and arcade machines - what makes this version interesting is that it is so compact. There are two complete mazes and the monsters exhibit quite a high degree of intelligence.

Programmers should study the listing, as many tips and techniques can be learnt from it. The game is much faster than you might expect - it's blinding in Turbo mode - and the movement is very smooth too.

Game Controls:
Z - Left, X - Right, * - Up, ? - Down


David Taylor's game for budding marksmen will provide the answer

PISTOL SHOOTING Load your Electron and try your hand at pistol shooting. This fast-action game will sharpen your reflexes and get your adrenalin flowing and your heart pumping.

The top half of the screen contains six targets, edge-on so they can't be seen. At random intervals one will swing round and you must quickly move your sights to it, position them carefully and fire your gun. If you are too slow the target will swing back and you'll lose your shot.

There are ten targets in all and the bottom left hand corner of the screen shows a greatly magnified picture of one. On this is recorded where each bullet hits. The outer white ring is worth 20 points, the middle yellow ring 50 points, the inner red 80 and if you hit the target dead centre you'll chalk up 100 points.

The score for each individual shot is displayed in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, along with the number of targets remaining. A running total of your score is shown in the middle, just above the current high score. You can use a Plus 1 and an analogue joystick or the keys Z, X, * and ? for left, right, up and down, plus RETURN for fire.

How good is your aim? Are your reactions fast enough? Find out by playing PISTOL SHOOTING.


Improve your spelling with the aid of Neil Davidson's fun game for young children

SPENCER SPIDER In this education game designed to help children improve their spelling you are required, not to spell complete words, but just to fill in a few missing letters. However, it's not as easy as it might seem...

You play the part of Spencer Spider who is competing with Archie Arachnid to get the curds and whey left behind by little Miss Muffet. At the start of the game you both hang from the brickwork at the top left-hand corner of the screen and dangle just above the ground.

First enter the speed of the game - press from 1 for slow to 9 for fast - followed by the difficulty level - 1 is easy, 9 is difficult. The speed sets the time allowed to answer each question, and the difficulty controls how far above the ground your rival Archie hangs.

A word will slide across the bottom of the screen on rollers and come to rest just right of centre. One of the letters in the word is missing and in the bottom left-hand corner are several alternatives. Press the key corresponding to the correct letter. This fires it out of a cannon and it will land in the correct position in the word, plugging the gap.

With every correct answer Spencer drops closer to the ground, but get it wrong and Archie drops down. When either of the spiders reaches the ground it will scurry across and grab the curds and whey and perform a victory dance accompanied by a cheery tune before making off with it.

If Spencer wins the curds and whey you move on to the next round and the game becomes slightly more difficult. If Archie wins you return to the beginning and start all over again.

There are 36 sample words included in the listing, starting at line 620 and you can alter them, or add more of your own. Indicate the missing letter by an underscore and follow the word with four alternative letters and finally the correct one like:

   625 DATA Ele_tronktqpc

The word is Electron, and the missing letter is indicated by the underscore character. The four alternative letters are ktqp and the correct one is the last letter c. If you add more words like this you'll also have to alter the DIM w$ in line 50, which is currently set at 40 words.

Cover Art Language(s): English
Compatibility: Acorn Electron
Release: Magazine available via High Street/Mail Order
Original Release Date: 1st Oct 1988
Links: Everygamegoing,

Cover Art