Author Andy Remic is publishing a computer game based on his latest novel Biohell… for the ZX Spectrum. Surely it's just an amusing promotional ploy, but speaking as Spectrum fans since youth, this thought fills us with a certain anachronistic excitement. We interviewed Remic about the book a few weeks ago, and he didn't mention his 8-bit ambitions, so what's the deal?
"When I finally finished the novel Biohell and it hit the shelves, I thought to myself: what do I do next?" says Remic. "There's of course the follow-up novel, Hardcore, to complete but I was eager to pursue an advanced gaming angle. I’d recently been approached by three large games developers who were interested in the idea of Biohell, but I decided against the glitz and glamour of worldwide gaming domination, and instead set out to develop a 48k Spectrum adventure myself."
He continues: "You always remember your first computing love affair, and mine was a sleek black little Spectrum number. It was October 1984, and I got my Speccy along with Ultimate’s Knight Lore for Christmas. It changed my life!"
We know where he's coming from, there's a lot of love and nostalgia for the Spectrum out there that we share.
The Biohell game will be a graphical text adventure in which you'll play Franco Haggis, utilising guns and bombs to progress across a nano-molecular zombie-infested city. It features "a full range of 8 (yes 8!) colours, advanced textual parser and many advanced Spectrum features".
The Biohell novel is set on a planet entirely covered with a city teeming with corruption, guns, sex, and designer drugs. "Humans are upgraded by the injection of microscopic nanobots, courtesy of a new technology," continues the official summary. "But when this heads onto the black market, millions of people inject themselves with pirated biomods - and transform into zombies. The Combat K squad are dropped into this warzone to uncover what's turned the planet into a wasteland of murder and mutations."
The book is available now and you can read our review of it in the last issue of SFX. Meanwhile the Biohell Spectrum game will be available for free in May 2009 over at www.andyremic.com . Check out Remic's publishers' website over at www.solarisbooks.com too.