ⓘ Cassette 50 is a compilation of games published by Cascade Games Ltd in 1983, and is an early example of shovelware - computer software marketed primarily on th ..

Cassette 50

ⓘ Cassette 50

Cassette 50 is a compilation of games published by Cascade Games Ltd in 1983, and is an early example of shovelware - computer software marketed primarily on the basis of its sheer quantity rather than other factors such as quality or playability.

The compilation was advertised in home computer magazines, with buyers also receiving a Timex digital calculator watch with each purchase.

According to the instructions, "the games will provide many hours of entertainment for all the family at a fraction of the cost of other computer games".

In an interview, Matthew Lewis, the author of Galaxy Defence, said he wrote the game when he was 14 and submitted it in response to a small, anonymous ad in a local newspaper. He was paid £10 for his game, but he had to give up all rights to it. Galaxy Defence took 12 hours to code and the graphics were done by his father, Ernest Lewis.


1. Content

The games featured differed depending on the platform.

Acorn Electron / Commodore 64 / ZX81

The games Exchange and The Force, although listed on the inlay, are missing from the Acorn Electron version, meaning only 48 games actually appeared on the cassette.

ZX Spectrum

The number with the # symbol represents the order in which the games appear on the tape.

Star Trek appears in the cassette booklet as Startrek, and Jet Mobile appears as Jetmobile.


2. Reception

The games, almost without exception written in BASIC, were deemed to be of poor quality. They have been described as "so bad it caused physical discomfort", "beyond awful", and "a piece of crap collection". The poor quality of the games inspired the annual Crap Games Competitions for example the comp.sys.sinclair Crap Games Competition and the C64 Crap Game Compo and a now-defunct site reviewing bad games.

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