• Graphics
  • Sound
  • Playability
  • Lastability
FormatCommodore VIC 20
DeveloperAleksi Eeben
PublisherMinigame Competition
ReviewFrank and Paul

Main review

Aleksi Eeben again delights our game starved VIC 20’s with this time a simple 1K Slalom game created for the 2004 Minigame competition. Already Aleksi has impressed many with his past efforts of Dragonwing and Tammerfors, and Vuokatti looks to continue his impressive game production on the VIC 20. Everyone has pretty much played a Slalom game at some point and possibly even programmed their own, so its nothing new by any means or unfamiliar.

With this version, your slalom guy has to negotiate through a course of trees and rocks, avoiding them at all costs. To speed up your progress, there are a series of snow bumps which send you whizzing down the slope. If things get a bit too fast, you can move your main character all the way to the left and right to slow down the flow. The further you progress down the slope, the higher your score becomes. When you crash into a tree or rock, your are presented with a white score to represent your current score, and a yellow score to represent the high score that has to be beaten. Pressing space will restart the game.

The game is controlled on the keyboard only, where you are limited to moving left and right. The controls are slightly over sensitive, which can make for a frustrating experience at first because pressing too hard on the keys will cause your man could career right into the path of a tree.

Graphically the game is not complicated at all, mostly the game is dominated by a simple and sparse white background, which is understandable considering it’s a Slalom game! The objects which make up the game, such as the trees, rocks and snow jumps are well drawn and shaded. The main character is a little difficult to see due to the multicolour resolution on the VIC 20, but he does the job.

The sound is very simple effects, which is the typical “Aerosol spray” sounding noise as your man ski’s downwards and there are little speed burst and collision sounds. There isn’t really much space to cram a tune into 1K like Dragonwing did in about 3.5k!

By no means is this game complicated or original, but its been well executed and looks more like an expanded VIC 20 game than a unexpanded one. It will will probably keep you hooked for a few goes as you try to get that score above 1000, but its no more than a teabreak game compared to something to keep you going for a few hours. But again as with TammerforsVuokatti is impressive for a 1K game, and stands up well when you benchmark against past VIC 20 games. Its a good little game, but nothing to set the world alight.

Second opinion

I can see why Horace Goes Skiing was so called but why Vuokatti? I did a bit of research and it means “ski vacation” so I can now see why, but none the less I’d say that a translation somewhere within the documentation would have been appreciated….

To be honest, taking into account the machine it’s intended for, it is actually an okay game – maybe a bit simple, but the type of game that, under the correct circumstances, could keep you occupied for some time. There were a few little things I would suggest to the creator, maybe before the next release, if there is one. The main annoyance was the start, it just did and there was no indication that the game was about to play. Even if a simple “press space to start” would have sufficed. I also noticed there was no straight down moment, after a bit of research with Horace I found he could manage it, so my not Mr. Ski on his vacation.

There was one other thing that niggled me, the skis appeared to be made out of rubber so, when I hit the side of the screen, I just bounced back again. Now I can understand the principle of this, it’s to keep the player from going off screen, but would have preferred to have straightened out, kept the player graphics the same and stop at the sides or even crashing. I did also notice the collision isn’t exactly spot on, now I’m presuming it is character-based collision detection, so have to give a bit of leeway for that, but a couple of instances I died, I was quite a distance away from the tree?

Talking about the rubber skis, I think the skis have some issues with maths since, whilst I was bumping into the walls at 45 degrees, I was returning in the other direction at approx 33 degrees. Now if you had anticipated a tree, that you could bounce around, and before knowing the way it worked, you’d think.. “yeah, I’ll bounce that”… but nope, you’re returned straight into the tree! Overall, niggles aside though, Vuokatti was enjoyable, the graphics where big and colourful, and appeared as they were intended, well with the exception of the jumps perhaps since I didn’t realise and spent my first go avoiding them, thinking I would crash!

If I was the proud owner of a real VIC 20, I would definitely have this in my collection, if only for just the amusement factor. Very good work, on such a limited machine.