Budget Bureau £1.99

Publisher: Silverbird
Machine: Spectrum 48K/128K/+2

Published in Crash #63

Pasteman Pat

A mixed bunch of new budget games arrived from Silverbird this month, of which the most original is Pasteman Pat (65%). In this devious picture puzzle game, Pat Splatt has to use his paste brush to assemble a large wall poster from the squares which Nasty Norville has jumbled up (they resemble an SU poster!). It sounds easy enough, but on the most difficult levels you're likely to get a headache sorting dozens of small squares, while inaccurate brushwork by the hero causes frustration. Add to this the extra problems caused by a time limit and the objects thrown by Norville's henchmen (they knock Pat off his ladder!) and you have one challenging game. But if you're a wallpapering fan, this is your game.

Turbo Boat Simulator

Also splashing down from Silverbird is Turbo Boat Simulator (32%), a nautical (but not very nice) shoot-'em-up. Lost in enemy territory, your boat patrols horizontally-scrolling waterways, searching for map parts dropped by allied planes (why can't the pillocks drop a whole map?!). Play simply involves avoiding and shooting enemy submarines and missiles until you find all the map pieces to send you to the next level. Grotty monochromatic graphics don't give much incentive to play on in a game about as exciting as squashed hedgehog racing. Its best feature is definitely the 128K title tune.

Skateboard Joust

Skateboard Joust (30%) is another disappointing Silverbird effort, featuring very primitive graphics and minimal sound. Gameplay is reminiscent of the ancient jousting game, Ostron. But here you have a hovering skateboard and must destroy opponents by jumping up to let your board fly into them! The trendy sport of skateboarding has been over-used of late, and this off-beat implementation provides little excitement. Even Nick 'rad lad' Roberts quickly lost interest (but not his cool).

Street Gang

Just as dull is Players' unoriginal beat-'em-up, Street Gang (24%). Strolling through eight New York streets, you are attacked by all manner of punks and thugs, some of them wielding machine guns. The bad news is that despite the presence of many foes, progress is surprisingly easy. This is especially so when you discover that by continuously jumping to the right, completion of all eight levels is a mere formality. This amazing feature helps to make Street Gang about as eventful as a monks' wife-swapping party.