Saturday 24 March 2012

Booty - Sinclair Spectrum - 1984

Booty was a budget title released in 1984 for a pocket money friendly £2.50.  Despite the budget price it’s still an enjoyable game and was better than many full price games from that era.  Your objective is to plunder 125 items of treasure spread over 20 holds (screens) of a pirate ship.  You lose a life by being touched by pirates who move back and forth across the screen, or by the ship’s parrot or rat which occasionally put in an appearance. Some items of treasure contain booby traps which explode and give you a second to avoid the blast. You can also lose a life by falling too far.  Additionally Booty features the staple platform game elements of moving platforms, lifts and disappearing floors.

There is also a puzzle element as each room contains numbered locked doors which can only be opened by the corresponding numbered key which is usually located strategically away from the door.  You may be able to carry up to 125 items of treasure but can only hold one key at a time and it can’t be carried between screens.  I did find one bug where it is possible to come off a lift halfway through a door.  The key goes back to it’s original position and the door remains locked so taking a step the wrong way leaves you in a locked room with no way to escape.  This is a game ending bug as there is no way to quit and no time limit so you would need to reset the computer.  The game is also a little difficult to map as instead of moving off the side of the screen you enter doors in the ‘back’ of the screen, a couple of these being one-way. Once you have picked up all the treasure you have 45 seconds to find a golden key.

Booty is a fine game considering the price when it was released.  The locked doors are a nice touch to the standard platform fare and set it apart from its contemporaries.  The graphics are bright and colourful but result in some dreaded Spectrum colour clash.  There is also a suitable (and annoying) sea shanty that plays throughout and some basic spot effects.

During the creation of this blog I am going make an attempt to complete and map every game that is completable and mappable (are they even words?).  I have mapped Booty but couldn’t complete it.  Having picked up the required amount of treasure I can’t find the golden key in the allotted time.  It can take 45 seconds to traverse one screen, let alone searching twenty and seems a tad unfair after getting so far.  

A game ending bug - how do I get out of there?
After picking up the treasure you have unreasonable time limit in which to find a golden key to escape


  1. I loved playing Booty on a mate's Spectrum, so it was one of the first games I bought when I got a Commodore 64. I was gutted... it was a terrible version!

  2. I know. It scored 16% in Zzap64.

  3. I have fond memories of the game. Mainly because my late father loved it and he wasn't really into computer games. He used to roll up laughing when you had to run from a booby trap.

  4. If I remember correctly the gold key is in the same room as the door that floods the ship when you open it. After getting the gold key you get another time limit to find a silver key and then the game loops

    1. Yep, I guess that would make sense.

    2. Unfortunately it's not always there. Every time I've ever got to the golden key, it's been in a different room :(

  5. I (sad case that I am) used to use this program to teach students about simple harmonic motion. There is a wide variety of interesting phase differences in the moving platforms. The students enjoyed it immensely!