More for your money
Many of you will be familiar with the Cheat It Again Joe series of tapes and discs: Collections of easy-to-use pokes and cheats for most of the popular BBC Micro games.
The compilations are the brainchild of Mark Gidley, a regular contributor to the Hac-Man column, and is a direct development of The Pokes Disc that he used to sell via mail order.
I reviewed the first two Joes with enthusiasm in the November 1988 issue of The Micro User, and the latest addition to the range only strengthens my opinion.
The first three volumes of Cheat It Again Joe were released by Impact Software but Joe 4 is being marketed directly by mail order from Mark's own Zentrix Software. It is available only on disc, because Mark found that the demand for a disc version was much greater than that for tape.
However, in common with the earlier Joes, this one features a full range of pokes for both cassette and disc versions of all the featured games.
Cheat It Again Joe 4 is just as easy to use as its predecessors. Simply press Shift-Break to load a menu page: It invites you to use the cursor keys followed by Return to select "Volume Four" or "Update".
The former gives you a list of new games or games recently released on compilation and you can either select one or press the spacebar for a further selection.
"Update" displays the names of half a dozen games for which pokes have been published in previous issues of Cheat It Again Joe. As the name implies, these are updates on those which appeared in earlier Joe and have been included because the game has since been re-released on a compilation, or simply because Mark has written additional routines for a game featured earlier in the series.
I had only a couple of minor gripes with Joe 4. Pressing Shift-Break loads a menu page which, on my review copy, is loaded directly into the area of memory used to display a Mode 1 screen.
With most BBC Micros this has the effect of making the menu appear suddenly but if the machine has shadow ram and is configured to default to one of the shadow modes you are presented with a blank screen and a small red box.
Furthermore, I could not switch from the Volume Four menu to the "Update" menu without pressing Break, reloading from scratch and selecting the other option.
Mark assures me that both of these shortcomings will be corrected.
For less than half the normal price of a BBC Micro game, Cheat It Again Joe 4 gives a whole new lease of life to more than twenty recent bestsellers.