Format reviewed: Acorn Electron
Publisher: Bug Byte
Developer: Peter Judd
Submitted by: Damian Butt
Savage Pond was an early lesson in ecology from programmer Peter Judd. Set in the titular increasingly polluted waterhole, the game cast you in the role of a plucky tadpole bent on creating a whole frog colony by eating amoebas and worms and eventually invoking an evolution that changed the pond’s terrain and increased the number of enemies, including, from memory, jellyfish, mutant bees and some kind of fast-moving spiders. With each evolution the pond degraded and the chances of a new successful new evolution became more difficult.
Given the Acorn Electron’s paltry processing power Bug-Byte’s Savage Pond was remarkably addictive and relied upon simple game mechanics, such as the desire to see each new variation of the pond, and to discover what effect the increasing amounts of radiation had on its inhabitants. No doubt Judd was trying to teach the home computing generation about the evils of fly-tipping and industrial waste and to his credit, he succeeded and Savage Pond is still fondly remembered to this day.