If you want to know why I’m a quiz show fiend, Blockbusters could easily take as much blame as anything else. It’d come on after CITV had finished, drawing me in with brightly coloured hexagons and a jaunty theme tune, and keeping me entertained with vocabulary-based questions and the infinitely affable Bob Holness. These were simple pleasures for an odd child, and I was most definitely an odd child.
You can imagine how thrilled I was when I found out that there was a C64 version of the game, and it is actually pretty amusing for a while. While the show’s contestants were always sixth form students, the questions can occasionally trip up adults – especially if you restrict yourself by picking the highest difficulty level, which will give you just a few seconds to begin your answer before the CPU answers and wins the space. The game also has quite a few sets of questions, allowing you to rotate to another set when things start to become familiar.
Unfortunately, despite a neat digitised Bob asking the questions, fans of the show might well find that the game doesn’t quite measure up to their expectations. The Gold Run round, which posed more difficult questions about phrases, has disappeared and the SID rendition of Ed Welch’s classic theme tune just isn’t long enough. However, if you can content yourself with firing up the internet every time you want to hear the tune as it should sound, you’ll find that Blockbusters for the C64 is a pretty decent quiz.