Sqij! (Commodore 16, Plus/4)

Sqij! Commodore 16, Plus/4 Title Screen

MISSING COVER

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Description

Sqij has found out that the key to eternal life is the Enertree, that sits in the Lotz-Too-Weet cave, deep in the caverns of Pylpapa. Problem is the tree is scattered over the caverns in six pieces and need to be collected and placed back in the cave. In this flick-screen, side view maze game, you control Sqij as you explore the caverns for the pieces of the Enertree while avoiding or shooting various nasties that live there. If you touch a nasty or the sides of the caverns then you lose part of an energy bar and when it reaches zero it is game over. In various parts of the caverns are laser doors and these can only be passed through with a pass. To get a pass you must collect three Doodlefoodle fruits and take them to one of three Dispensa-Monsta's. A pass can only be used once.

Screenshots

Sqij! Commodore 16, Plus/4 Food to collect
Sqij! Commodore 16, Plus/4 Title Screen
Sqij! Commodore 16, Plus/4 Lets get the secret to eternal life
Sqij! Commodore 16, Plus/4 Collect the flag

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Trivia

Spectrum port

Infamously, the Spectrum version of the game contains a crippling bug: the player character is controlled by lowercase letters on the keyboard, but the game's loader program sets CAPS LOCK on, which makes all typed letters uppercase and makes it impossible to move. A poke command (POKE 23658,0) is necessary to disable the culprit command in the loader and make Sqij! playable.

In March 2012, a review of the game was posted to the website Spectrum 2.0, allegedly from Jason Creighton, the author of the Spectrum conversion. The review's author claimed that he deliberately created a "crap" game to get out of the contract with the publisher, after "a major row" with the company dissuaded him from finishing the port by its original deadline. The review also claimed that the CAPS LOCK bug did not appear in the original game, and theorized it may have resulted from using Laser BASIC on an emulator.

In a 2017 Eurogamer article, Creighton sheds light on the trouble plaguing the port's development. According to him, the publisher failed to provide him with a copy of the Commodore 64 original, eventually sending it on disk, which was no help as Creighton did not own a disk drive. All he had to go on was impressions from playing the game at the publisher's offices, and a copy of the gameworld map. What's worse, other duties such as exams were creeping up on Creighton and the deadline was getting ever closer. He eventually used the programming extender package Laser BASIC for faster development, and, again, he suggests the catastrophic bug resulted from emulating Laser BASIC.

About 250 copies of the Spectrum version were sold.
FatherJack (62771) added Sqij! (Commodore 16, Plus/4) on Sep 17, 2014
Other platforms contributed by Trypticon (11035) and FatherJack (62771)