C64 Review of Seaside Special from Issue 1

ZzapTest Logo by Biggest Jim


The idea of throwing radioactive seaweed at Tory politicians had never really crossed my mind until I played this satirical new release from Taskset. The 'Polytikians' have landed and have taken over the cabinet. Only you, Radium Rodney, know about this and so you rush down to Rotaway beach. Once there you collect the radioactive seaweed washed up by the waves and take it back to 10 Downing Street to throw at the politicians.

The game itself consists of just two different screens of action: the beach and 10 Downing Street. Collecting the seaweed at the beach is fairly easy at first but increases in difficulty rapidly on higher levels. There are rocks and clams for you to dodge, but they're the least of your problems.

A guard has been posted on the beach and fires whenever you get near him while vicious jellyfish attempt to sting you. Later there's a rather persistent seagull, crabs to nip your toes and some devious sandpits to sink into.

Meanwhile the tide keeps coming in and after a while this causes the sandpits to become invisible. The sea itself is radioactive, as is the seaweed, and contact with either for too long proves fatal. Staying to collect too much seaweed takes it's toll as the radiation level, shown on the dosimeter, climbs to a dangerous peak.

After collecting at least ten pieces of seaweed, you can move off the bottom of the screen to Downing Street.

In this scene you must throw the previously collected seaweed at the various members of the cabinet. This bit is basically a simple shoot-'em-up. The politicians' faces (nicely drawn – see panel) appear at one of the Downing Street windows, and you have a short time to move underneath and fire, while dodging cruise missiles, banana skins and various other objects hurled at you.

Each one of the five Polytikians must be hit five times, and then 'Maggie' appears. If you can get hit her five times (which isn't exactly a doddle), I'm afraid it's back to the beginning, with no apparent differences.

What's more, if you persevere through to the second demise of 'Maggie' and co, the program decides you've done well enough and stops the game, revealing your score and how many Polytikians you killed.

The graphics in general were good, if a little fuzzy around the edges. The backgrounds were superbly drawn and even though the sea made realistic wave noises as it moved in and out, graphically it didn't move me. The sound was sparse apart from the rushing of the waves and clips of 'Oh I Do Like To Be Beside the Seaside' when, and if, you die. GP.


One thing that stands out in Seaside Special is the impressive lampooning of the Tory Cabinet. These are all wicked portrayals of the real life equivalents and it looks as if Taskset are doing for computers what Spitting Image does for television.

Geoffrey Howe, Nigel Lawson, and (we think) Keith Joseph were all there, as well as a rather piggish looking Maggie herself. But the best of the lot is Norman Tebbit who's quite unmistakable.

It's a shame the moving sprites weren't up to this calibre of definition.

This review was typed in/OCRed by Dimitris

ZzapBack Logo by Biggest Jim
In the spirit of ZzapBack, you can have your say about how the game reviewed above, stands up in the cold light of today. Has it aged badly or is it still worth a few plays? Read other peoples thoughts and post your own.

The current ZzapBack rating is : 65%

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LeeT - 6 May 2005
One of the first full-price games that I bought.

It's only really got a short-term appeal, but is pretty original (with the radioactive seaweed theme!), and its a pity Taskset closed a short while later.

Not brilliant but worthy of a few plays.

Rating : 65%
Julian Rignall
Scores highly on instant appeal. It comes with a good set of instructions and tips on the inlay and these are reiterated within the game itself – Rodney runs across the sand, revealing the test beneath in a form of slow writer. Unfortunately the game is just the fairly monotonous task of running back and forth between beach and street. It does lose appeal after a short time, especially once completed as it has little to offer thereafter
Bob Wade
Not everyone will enjoy the politics in this game but they add the essential spice which makes it interesting. Turning Maggie and her cronies into glowing lumps appealed to me but can't conceal the simple two screen nature of the game. Despite this it's a very enjoyable challenge and will keep you scuttling between Rotaway beach and number ten for a good few hours. Until you zap the PM the first time you'll love the game but afterwards there may not be enough here to keep you hooked.
Gary Penn
Take a long look before you consider purchasing. Gaudy, bright graphics don't cover the dullness of the game – the only highlight is throwing the poisonous weed at the Tory cabinet. Two screens of increasing difficulty throw no challenge to a seasoned player: it took only a few goes to finish the game. Perhaps this could be a hit with a younger age group…
Instructions humourously presented by Radium Rodney.

Some old gameplay but a great scenario.

Excellent political caricatures, but some sprites indistinct.

Great fun zapping those politicians.

Timely effects but the tune will annoy.

Not too good once you've killed Maggie.

Fun for a while, especially if you vote Labour.