A&B Computing1st May 1984
Published in A&B Computing 1.07
Corn Cropper, long a best-seller on the Spectrum has now been modified to run on the Electron. This is perhaps rather a mixed blessing. It is true that the game is tried and tested already, with any bugs adapted as necessary. Yet their conversion from the rather untidy Sinclair BASIC still leaves a programming style which lacks the tight structured look that Acorn BASIC allows. A glance through the listing will reveal several dubious habits! In addition, the converstion seems to have been made via a BBC, and there is a call to Mode 7 here.
These minor criticisms aside, the simulation provides a challenging, stimulating change to zapping PacInvaders as they hop across main roads on their way to Mario's scaffolding! Your working capital of £100,000 bound up in the wheat within a period of time determined by the level of difficulty. Each month the weather forecast is presented (and we all know how reliable they are!), along with information on the state of your crops and your bank balance. Three commands from the menu can also be input each month, and these might for instance be to hire extra farmhands, buy seeds and to plant a certain number of acres. There are of course natural hazards to upset all your plans, and I found myself facing drought, frost, rats and insects to add to those problems which were of my own making.
It is an interesting game which can best be tackled slowly and steadily, although eventual success is not easy to attatin. I especially liked the theme tune of the Archers, but otherwise I found the sound to be gimmicky and distracting, so I was glad to see the invitation to turn the sound effects off. There are some limited graphics, mostly included on the farm map, which are useful guides to quick recognition on the current state of affairs. The colours of the machine are used to good effect, and the program is well recommended. Also available for the BBC Model B.