Pssst Retrospec Remake, PC

A twenty one year-old remake of a thirty eight year-old game… John Dow‘s Pssst PC conversion was originally released in 2000 for MS-DOS and it’s not a bad effort, with decent enough graphics and responsive controls. The game was later ported to work in Windows, but there is a problem with that (see below).

The aim of the game is to pick up the colour-coded spray cans and protect the plant from insects as it grows. Each individual spray can will destroy a certain type of insect if sprayed with it, so you have to keep swapping cans to deal with whatever’s crawling towards the plant. If you touch an insect you lose a life. If insects are feeding on the plant it stops growing. When the plant reaches a certain height it then flowers, you complete the level, and move on to the next.

Pssst is an extremely simple game. It’s fun for a short while. It’s a cute idea. Whether it was worth remaking or not is questionable. I would’ve liked to have seen a little more added to the game – a few enhancements, like the flower changing, or the layout of the level changing, or an improvement in the way you change cans, or a high score table. I’d also like to see a more involving sequel made. That would be interesting!

Final note: the download of Pssst being offered on the Retrospec website will unfortunately not run on 32-bit or 64-bit operating systems, which will prevent most people from playing it in Windows. It must be a 16-bit game. The solution was to find the original DOS version and run it in DOSBox. That worked. I also found another Pssst PC Windows remake, and tried that out, but it was absolutely awful, so the less said about that, the better.

More: Pssst on Wikipedia
More: Pssst on Retrospec

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