PSSST By Ultimate Play The Game on Sinclair ZX Spectrum

If you had a DeLorean to whisk you back to the 1980’s when the Sinclair ZX Spectrum was in its heyday then PSST would be one of the games you’d have heard people raving about. The story behind PSSST is that you are a robot tasked with looking after a plant and to protect it from the common bugs which find it so tasty you need to pick up your aerosol can of pest repellant and zap those bugs, PSSST and they’re dead.

Being a Spectrum game the sound is limited to the beeps which the computer can manage, but they’re used as well as they can be expected to be for this game. The controls are simple, up, down, left, right, and fire. You fire in the direction you are pointing either left or right, and you move up or down to aim at the bugs. It’s not quite as easy as it sounds though, you will need the right spray to hit the right bugs which are colour coded so a red spray kills red bugs and yellow spray yellow bugs and the wrong spray will at best stun the bug, and at worse do nothing to stop it. You change aerosols by dropping a can in an alcove and picking up the next.

The bugs attack first from left and right, and you only have to worry yourself with the lower ones, but as your plant grows then the higher bugs become a nuisance too. You die either by colliding with the bugs yourself or when the insects have sucked the life from your plant and it whithers and dies. The first level is a nice intro to bug killing, PSSST and they’re history, and when your plant grows and flowers you have passed the level. The second level adds more coloured bugs and they attack faster and vary their attack pattern, so you need to be faster on the spray nozzle and swapover. And so the difficulty builds as you go up the levels.

You can play PSSST using the keyboard or kempston joystick. As always with the Spectrum games colour clash is evident as the bugs get close to your plant or the walls, but that’s not the fault of the game so has to be forgiven. Sound is basic as mentioned, but gameplay is fun for a while. A nice little game worthy of 7/10

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