Apple Jam

This has to be some sort of record. Time elapsed between first wanting to play Apple Jam and actually playing it: 26 years.

I think I first saw it running at a ZX Microfair, and it immediately struck me because of the fact that it was clearly one hundred percent batshit mental insane. So, okay. You’re this man. To your left is a lift that goes up and down if you walk into it. To your right is a sauna. Above you is a conveyor belt carrying apples. Also above you is a jam-dispensing tap. Below you is a tunnel with a rat running along it. Got that?

You have to stand underneath the end of the conveyor belt with your mouth wide open and guzzle down the apples as they fall. You also have to stand underneath the jam dispenser and catch filthy great blobs of jam as they drip out of the tap. If you miss anything it falls down into the tunnel and the rat eats it, and if he eats enough apples or jam he becomes strong enough and arsey enough to come up to ground level and have a pop at you. In which case you need to nip into the lift to avoid him, and hopefully time it right so that the lift squashes him as it hits the ground.

With me so far? Good. Obviously, ideally you want to catch all the apples and jam in your gaping maw so that the rat doesn’t get them. But with everything you eat you visibly put on weight at quite an alarming speed, and if you get too hefty you’ll have a fit and have to eat one of your supply of three pills. So to avoid that you take a quick-slimming trip to the sauna.

Except, when you’re in the sauna you can’t get to the apples. Or to the jam. So the rat gets them and comes up to attack you. You’re on a permanent knife-edge. Just watch:

The reason I never got it was because Crash gave it a bit of a kicking. Hard to justify spending my pocket money on a 47-percenter, no matter how mental it looked. So I let it pass for 26 years and then finally, this evening, got round to playing it.

It was fun for a while. Started to get the hang of it, squashed a rat, did a few dashes into the sauna, and then a giant fucking wasp appeared out of nowhere and killed me dead.

Which was a surprise. Still, Apple Jam finally played. That’s another life goal I can cross off the list.

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