We played the superb ‘Biscuits in Hell’ for the Atari XL/XE

Biscuits in Hell was released back in June 2020 by Playsoft/Paul Lay as an exclusive game for ABBUC members, as part of issue #141 of the ABBUC Magazine. Now the game is freely available to everybody via ABBUC public downloads (link at the end).

The game was originally developed for the ZX Spectrum in 2017 and the premise is fairly straightforward for this type of game. You have to eat all the biscuits to complete each level. The big difference that makes the game stand out is that to move from one platform to the other you can either teleport by standing on a launchpad and moving the joystick up or down, or if you to the left edge you go up, and if you go though the right edge you go down one platform.

While you are eating the biscuits, you have to avoid the enemies, the snake, and the bomb when it explodes. Because all those things are happening in different platforms, you have to keep your eyes open to what is happening not only in the current platform but also in the ones above and below you. Poorly planning your move can cost you a life.

There are also objects that randomly appear that you can collect and get some benefits:

  • Cake = extra points
  • Runner = speed boost (for a limited time)
  • Clock = freeze enemies (for a limited time)
  • Star = invincibility (for a limited time)
  • Lightning = kill all enemies (they re-appear after a delay)
  • Gun + Ammo = press trigger to shoot at enemies (they re0-appear after a delay)
  • Heart = extra life (these appear every 1,000 points)

If the foes weren’t enough, there are also static hazards that you have to avoid: There are hazards on the platforms:

  • Blocks = you cannot walk through these
  • Spikes = will kill you if you are walking on them and they rise up
  • Conveyor belts = will automatically move you in the direction they are travelling
Intro Screen

This Atari port is superb in all aspects. From the intro screen through the levels, the graphics are colourful and well made. Some of the enemies are even cuter than the hero!

The animations are also outstanding, and all the game elements have many animated frames that make each level very alive and busy. To me, teleporting up and down is the best and, combined with the sound, very satisfying.

The sound effects and music are also incredible. The background music gives the game a frantic mood without overshadowing the sound effects that are very important to help you pay attention to what is happening.

The game offers two different gameplays. The first, called Spectrum, delivers the same experience as the original, where you have 128 lives to complete all 8 levels. You do not score points in this mode, but if you manage to complete all 8 levels, then the number of lives you have remaining is your score.

The second gameplay offers a more traditional approach. You start the game with 5 lives, and you score points as you eat the biscuits. Each level has to be completed in an allotted time. Otherwise, you lose a life. At the end of each level, the remaining time will be converted to bonus points. This mode lets you pick the difficulty between novice, skilled, and expert.

There are plenty of options to keep coming back and play it again over and over! Make sure to download and play it. Meanwhile watch the video below!

Link: ABBUC Public Downloads

Author: Paulo Garcia

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