Thomas The Tank Engine
A very naughty engine
Nick recalls his encounter with the little engine that could
» ZX Spectrum » 1991
» enigma Variations if you were to borrow my time machine from Back to the noughties and jump back a bit further to meet me in my infant school years, there would be four guaranteed ways to get my interest. Sonic The Hedgehog is the obvious one, of course, and I’ve probably mentioned my fondness for the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles (as I knew them) in the magazine before. The ones you might not know about are Sooty and Thomas The Tank Engine, the latter of which did actually factor into my gaming habits as a kid.
I didn’t often dig through the local play scheme’s box of Speccy tapes – most of the time, I was just content to play Video Poker. But one day, probably after some concerned adult had taken the gambling-themed game away, I did just that and struck gold with Thomas The Tank Engine.
I had no idea how such a game would play, but I was excited to load it up. As a fairly faithful rendition of the theme tune played, I had high hopes for what I was about to experience.
A piece of my innocence died that day. I’d picked normal mode and was presented with a frustrating nightmare of a game. The simple goal of getting to the end of the track within the time limit was made impossible by oncoming trains, objects that would occasionally be placed on the only viable tracks, and Thomas’ infuriating tendency to derail at high speeds. Still, the play scheme staff were pleased, because I put down the joystick for once and went outside.