Nickolas Marentes describes “Donut Dilemma” as his best game for the TRS-80 Model 1. “Donut Dilemma” was inspired by the donut kiosk his family owned:
“We had this donut making machine where you filled one end with dough mix and fresh hot donuts would come out the other. The dough was automatically dropped into the hot cooking oil, complete with hole in the middle, via a syncronised plunger. A conveyer belt system would then slowly push the donut across the oil as it cooked one side of the donut. Then, halfway across, it would flip the donut over so as to cook the other side. Once cooked, a conveyer would lift the donut up and out of the hot oil and into a rotating dish for the donuts to cool. They were picked up, sugared and packed into a paper bag for human consumption. Occasionally, something would go wrong, usually in the part that flips the donuts over, and the donuts would get all messed up. Seeing this one day, a revelation hit me. Why not do a game based on a donut factory where everything has gone wrong?”
The game’s premise was: “Angry Angelo has raided Antonio’s Donut Factory sending the entire complex amuck! Donuts have come alive and are jumping around in wild frenzies. Machines have gone out of control throwing cooking fat, dough and icing sugar everywhere. You must help poor Antonio climb ladders, jump platforms and ride elevators to reach the top floor and shut down the factory’s power generator which will restore law and order.”
Nine levels of “Donut Dilemma” were first available to play on the TRS-80 Model 1.
In 1986/7, Nickolas Marentes ported the game to the Tandy Color Computer, adding an extra level, and submitted it to Tandy Australia. Tandy published it in 1987, selling it through Tandy Electronics stores in Australia and bundling it with their Christmas computer package. 3,500 copies of the title were sold.
In 2013, Marentes revived “Donut Dilemma”, releasing a port for the recent Australian Maximite kit computer.
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