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Basic Computer Games

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BASIC Computer Games: Microcomputer Edition contains one hundred and one imaginative and challenging games for one, two, or more players, all from Creative Computing, a magazine of computer applications and software. All games come complete with step-by-step programs and sample runs, and can run on Microsoft's 8K Basic, Rev 4.0. A table for converting the programs to run o BASIC Computer Games: Microcomputer Edition contains one hundred and one imaginative and challenging games for one, two, or more players, all from Creative Computing, a magazine of computer applications and software. All games come complete with step-by-step programs and sample runs, and can run on Microsoft's 8K Basic, Rev 4.0. A table for converting the programs to run on other versions of Basic is included.


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BASIC Computer Games: Microcomputer Edition contains one hundred and one imaginative and challenging games for one, two, or more players, all from Creative Computing, a magazine of computer applications and software. All games come complete with step-by-step programs and sample runs, and can run on Microsoft's 8K Basic, Rev 4.0. A table for converting the programs to run o BASIC Computer Games: Microcomputer Edition contains one hundred and one imaginative and challenging games for one, two, or more players, all from Creative Computing, a magazine of computer applications and software. All games come complete with step-by-step programs and sample runs, and can run on Microsoft's 8K Basic, Rev 4.0. A table for converting the programs to run on other versions of Basic is included.

30 review for Basic Computer Games

  1. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Pfaff

    I guess you had to be there. This book is very legendary. No explanation of this book is necessary! Either you had it, (loved it or despised it) or you don't know what it is. Well okay I'll say this- There has never been a time when creativity permeated the computer industry as when the era when these books [and magazines/books like it] were printed. We all ran BASIC and for the most part "equivalent" computer systems. A few of us diverged and programmed in assembly, creating a new industry and foreve I guess you had to be there. This book is very legendary. No explanation of this book is necessary! Either you had it, (loved it or despised it) or you don't know what it is. Well okay I'll say this- There has never been a time when creativity permeated the computer industry as when the era when these books [and magazines/books like it] were printed. We all ran BASIC and for the most part "equivalent" computer systems. A few of us diverged and programmed in assembly, creating a new industry and forever destroying the equality that came before. Yecch. I wish we hadn't done that. In any case many of these games served a basis for what was to come for years to follow. I missed this book for years, strangely having held onto the second edition which wasn't popular. I finally found a copy in a box of some obsolete computer equipment I inherited from someone else. I think. I keep it on my bookshelf. I don't keep many books at arms reach.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jerry

    Obviously, the fastest way to have some software debugged is to put it into the hands of many thousands of users. This is a variation on Ahl’s semi-anonymous 101 BASIC Computer Games from Digital Equipment Corporation, 1973 or so. That was a somewhat organic compilation: the back of the book included instructions on how to submit games to the book. The updated version for home microcomputers hasn’t completely lost the origins in print-oriented output. The first game I tried was a maze creator; it Obviously, the fastest way to have some software debugged is to put it into the hands of many thousands of users. This is a variation on Ahl’s semi-anonymous 101 BASIC Computer Games from Digital Equipment Corporation, 1973 or so. That was a somewhat organic compilation: the back of the book included instructions on how to submit games to the book. The updated version for home microcomputers hasn’t completely lost the origins in print-oriented output. The first game I tried was a maze creator; it printed out a maze, and then you manually found your way through the maze—something that makes most sense if the maze were printed onto paper. The games are written in Microsoft BASIC, specifically for the Altair 8080—which did not, in its basic configuration, even have a screen. There are rudimentary conversion notes, but they didn’t cover the problems I ran into. The maze program worked great on the two modern BASIC implementations I tested them in, the Color Maximite and Chipmunk BASIC on macOS. But it required an odd change to the DIMensioning of the variables on both the TRS-80 Level II emulator and the Color Computer Extended BASIC emulator that I have; and even then, while it produced output, it was not a maze but rather a zig-zagging hallway. The other program I tried out was the Game of Life, always a fascinating trip. It isn’t really a game (many of the programs here are less games than decorations, such as banners or ASCII art). It ran great on the Color Maximite and, with one obvious change, in Chipmunk BASIC. But because it was meant for printing, and the two emulators emulate screens with only 32-40 character widths and limited screen height, on the Level II emulator it ran off the bottom of the screen, and on the Color Computer it ran off the side and bottom of the screen; the width and height of the world is hard-coded throughout the program, and is not commented, which would make it difficult to reprogram. I’m sure that back in the day I would have done the necessary work. Both of these programs were more primitive than I remembered of the variations I used. The maze program, interestingly, did some checking of the user input: 100 INPUT "WHAT ARE YOUR WIDTH AND LENGTH";H,V 102 IF H<>1 AND V<>1 THEN 110 104 PRINT "MEANINGLESS DIMENSIONS. TRY AGAIN.":GOTO 100 110 DIM W(H,V),V(H,V) But oddly it only checks for a request for a maze with a height or width of 1 which, as it correctly notes, is a meaningless maze. But so would be a maze with anything less than one. The simpler… 102 IF H>1 AND V>1 THEN 110 …would seem to make more sense checking the user input. The program that prints a calendar for a chosen year doesn’t even bother checking the input for leap years. There is a REMark on two lines saying, if you want a leap year calendar, you need to uncomment this line, and then recomment it for non-leap years. Similarly, the Game of Life notes that its results are invalid once the patterns start going off the edge of the screen. I remember versions wrapping around, only a year or so after this book was published. Which of course may be the result of this book being published. Many of the programs in this book, which seem as though they would otherwise have been obscure games, in fact became very popular. Nim was famously rewritten by Leo Christopherson into Android Nim in 1978 for the TRS-80, showing that even that computer’s primitive graphics could display amazing life. And games like Lunar Lander or Slalom—a skiing emulator—are, here, played line-by-line, with a textual readout of data and numerical course adjustments entered by the player; very soon, all of these games would be given graphical displays and control be handled using arrow keys and space bars. There are at least two Star Trek games here, including Super Star Trek, which would also be updated by just about everyone, with variations appearing in most, if not all, of the magazines of the day. I still play, on my iPad, a version originally for the TRS-80 by Jake Commander for 80 Microcomputing. In a 1980 issue of 80 Microcomputing, one of the columnists bemoaned the flood of Super Star Trek games—this was a few years before Jake Commander’s contribution in this same magazine—but I have a suspicion that this book and its earlier editions were the source of a lot of the early games of the era, converted from printer-oriented and line-oriented to take advantage of the new graphics and screen-oriented, interactive new home computers. So many of these programs were staples of the market, both commercial, commercial hobbyist, and home-written and passed around. The sorting algorithm used is highly inefficient—as any reader of Creative Computing will recognize, this is the worst possible sort for speed. But the program is good fun and that’s what counts here.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Robert Keeney

    I learned a lot of computer programing from this book by keying in the listings into my TI-994A computer and debugging the programs. Before Microsoft and IBM PCs existed.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    I read this book when I was maybe 13. It has a lot of classic games written in BASIC (Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code). It is a good introduction to programming in that it provide tangible, working examples that a beginner might have an interest in. Each section lists the code itself and shows an example of what the output should look like. Even though BASIC is rarely used these days, the code in this book would make an excellent exercise in code conversion to today's easy langua I read this book when I was maybe 13. It has a lot of classic games written in BASIC (Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code). It is a good introduction to programming in that it provide tangible, working examples that a beginner might have an interest in. Each section lists the code itself and shows an example of what the output should look like. Even though BASIC is rarely used these days, the code in this book would make an excellent exercise in code conversion to today's easy languages like Perl or Java. By far the best game in here is a version of "Super Star Trek" that fans like me grew up playing on old mainframes that we could get access to.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Chezzwizz

    This book is so good, I stole it from a friend and never gave it back. Great programs and even better to use as an exercise in language conversion.

  6. 5 out of 5

    David

    I typed in quite a few of these back in the day.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jared

  8. 4 out of 5

    Edward Lengel

  9. 5 out of 5

    Danilo

  10. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Francavilla

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kirk Stright

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jim

  13. 4 out of 5

    Josh

  14. 5 out of 5

    Yasser

  15. 5 out of 5

    Albert Straub

  16. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jay

  18. 4 out of 5

    V

  19. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

  20. 4 out of 5

    Warren Riley

  21. 4 out of 5

    Liquidlasagna

  22. 4 out of 5

    Adam Adair

  23. 5 out of 5

    Comet

  24. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Hall

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alex Kulcsar

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bill West

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sandeep Chakravartty

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Lidbeck

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lukas

  30. 4 out of 5

    Seth

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