Do I Know How to Sp3ll?: References and Easter Eggs

There’s not a great deal to this game, but there’s still some stuff hidden inside that isn’t very obvious.

Menu speech

When on the main menu, the text-to-speech outputs a message once every 15 seconds, always in the same order. Once it reaches the end of the messages, it cycles back to the beginning.

Text Notes
Welcome to: Do I Know How to Sp3ll?
Choose a difficulty level to begin.
Use the mouse to click a button. The menu has buttons. This isn’t referring to the buttons on the mouse itself.
If you cannot locate your mouse, maybe you have a rat or touchscreen instead. Slightly nonsensical advice to unsettle the user and make them suspect that trouble is ahead.
Are you a beginner, a mid-level, or a professional?
I think you must be a beginner. A novice. A newbie. A noob. I don’t know if people actually still use the term “noob” in online gaming. It used to be a big thing, at least.
I want to sp3ll! Let me sp3ll! It must be getting impatient!
Back in my day, we always knew how to sp3ll. We didn’t have auto cabbage. “Autocorrect” to “auto cabbage” is a sorry joke as old as time itself.
Well, sometimes we didn’t know how to sp3ll, but we didn’t know when we didn’t know. You never know if you’re doing something wrong until someone points it out.
Sometimes I wish I was as bright as Bing or as barmy as Bard. A jab at Google Bard commonly being perceived as worse than other LLMs in early 2023.
Your DNA will mutate horribly if you don’t start sp3lling! Let’s threaten the user. That always works! DNA because there’s that spinning graphic on the main menu (which exists solely to look cool).
I’ll double your score for a hunner quid! Hunner = hundred.
I am not responsible for any ill effects you may experience whilst playing this game. Spoof of those disclaimers where no-one wants to be held liable for anything.
For an optimal experience, set your monitor to 640 by 480, 256-colour mode. Back in the day, PC games would often be designed for certain resolutions and colour depths.
The Sp3lling Embassy on the line. Mister Smirnoff. <em>Yes Minister</em> reference &ndash; “The Russian Embassy is on the line. Mr Smirnoff.” Also, there’s a picture of bourbon whiskey in this game.
A hospital is a big building with patients, but that’s not important right now. A direct quote from Airplane! (1980). There’s a picture of a hospital in this game.
Another broccoli-related death. One of the deadliest plants to sp3ll. A reference to The Simpsons. Was tempted to go with “explo-si-on” but this was ultimately used for the hints system instead. You guessed it, this game has a picture of broccoli (and an explosion).
The weather forecast is cloudy with a chance of carrots. There exists a book and film called Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, which itself is of course a spin on the phrase “cloudy with a chance of rain.” This game has a carrot, which was in fact the first word and picture added.
I have a bone to pick with you! Common phrase. Game has a bone.
It looks like you’re trying to learn how to sp3ll. Would you like some help? In older versions of some Microsoft products, namely Office, Clippit and other agents would offer often-unwanted help.


During gameplay, you can also click the image itself, or press the H key on your keyboard, for a hint. These hints are entirely useless, especially for the “professional difficulty” words (the last 10 listed here).

Word Hint
bone Rhymes with “cone”
city One C and one T
cold Cold C
tree Free tree
four Not to be confused with golf
milk Begins with an M, like moose
ball It doesn’t contain an O
duck A C and a K together
cake A C and a K apart
gold Like “old” but with a G
carrot A couple Rs to help you see in the dark
explosion Venting gas prevents ex-plos-ion
alligator A couple Ls and a G
tomato “Potato” with a T
spade Doesn’t rhyme with maid
microwave Think of this as two words
aeroplane The Aero chocolate bar is spelled “A-E-R-O”.
monkey Jamaican key
hospital “Hospice” but with “T-A-L” at the end instead
radio Each syllable is two letters, bar the last
broccoli I eat this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
spaghetti I eat this for supper, midnight snack and brunch
bourbon Sometimes I drunk
charcuterie A word from planet Earth
entrepreneur People with more money than me
rhythm Ain’t got rhythm
consciousness The opposite of unconsciousness
nauseous How I feel
island Where I want to be deserted
accessory I am an accessory to murder

Win pictures

After completing a 10-word round, the image used for the background depends on the difficulty level you selected.

Difficulty Image
Beginner Pandas boogieing at the disco
Mid-level Highland cows with confetti
Professional Genetically modified bears at a party

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