[The Sinclair Spectrum]

Philip Kendall - The story behind SQIJ!

SQIJ! is famously one of the worst games ever for the Spectrum; the biggest question about it is how did it ever manage to get released, especially given that it's completely unplayable due to the fact that CAPS LOCK is turned on, but the controls only recognise lower-case letters.

The mystery was revealed in March 2012 when the author posted a review of the game to Spectrum 2.0, giving a detailed account of how such a bad game made it onto the shelves. I've moved the content here is it isn't a review of the game as such:

"There is more to this than has been said....

Sadly im the author. How did this pile crap come about ?

Having a knowledge of Z80a aka machine code, why was it written in Basic or rather Laser basic ? Very poorly too....

Contracts were duly signed in December 1985, completion by Feb 1986.

Last week of December 1985 a major row developed involving me and a member of staff, I told them to stick the contract.

From 1st March 1986 through to around May 1986 I was badgered for the game.

My contract had a clause that meant the company could reject the game if it was well basically crap..... So they got crap. It took me about 40 hours to write.

Laser basic was a product id played with previously so I thought Ha ! Ill write it in that. I didnt even compile it.

Then they accepted it, oddly.

Not expecting that.

The Cap lock error did not appear in the original game, I think that has more to do with Laser basic and emulators. The animation is far worse than the original (just!).

Odd things happened, parts of the firm were sold including contracts, then they went bust. Strange that...

So what happened to me ? Well I started with Melbourne house writing software in about June 1986."

Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!