Atari 4K BASIC competition 2012

Your correspondent has previously mentioned the BASIC programming competition that was, to some degree, inspired by the author; the rules were simple, write a game using only Atari BASIC and keeping everything under 4K. TheRealBountyBob has collected all of the entries together onto a single disk image with an easy-to-use menu for everybody to enjoy so, since they were inspired by the muse for this blog, it seems appropriate to have a quick look at them.

Slo-Quiz by Gury

Slo-Quiz by Gury

Slo-Quiz by Gury

The player is shown a word in English with an accompanying image and offered three Slovakian words, two of which are incorrect – get the right word and earn a point. Your correspondent struggles with English on bad days and, despite there only being about a dozen words in the game, still can’t get a good score out of this game.

Amazin by Bluecat and Mopchop

Amazin by Bluecat and Mopchop

Amazin by Bluecat and Mopchop

Guide the cat through the mazes to its home as quickly as possible. The graphics are simple but, for an eight by eight pixel object, the cat is quite cute. This is Bluecat’s first game on the Atari 8-bit and the second version on the disk adds different colour schemes for each stage and a sound effect for when the cat makes it home. This was probably your correspondent’s favourite entry.

Keep on Koastin' by TheRealBountyBob

Keep on Koastin’ by TheRealBountyBob

Keep on Koastin’ by TheRealBountyBob

It looks like a Snake variant, but the player doesn’t actually control the movement of the roller coaster – instead they have an orange indicator which must be kept on one of the segments of coaster. Keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times!

Slider by Wesmond

Slider by Wesmond

Slider by Wesmond

This is a very accomplished fifteen puzzle – the kind where fifteen tiles and a space are arranged in a square and tiles can be moved into the space to shuffle the picture – with what appears to be a digitised image which somehow still fits into 4K.

Skiing by IronWorks

Skiing by IronWorks

Skiing by IronWorks

A rendition of the classic downhill skiing game most BASIC learners have written at some point, except with some nice and colour graphics (especially considering the memory overheads) and a valiant if somewhat flawed attempt at smooth scrolling.

Don't Angry by Gury

Don’t Angry by Gury

Don’t Angry by Gury

This is a board game for two human players; each has four counters which must be moved around the board by throws of the die with the ultimate aim being to reach the home spaces. Don’t Angry is actually a little short of 5K but nobody else in the competition minded as such!

Stellar Caverns by T.M.R

Stellar Caverns by T.M.R

Stellar Caverns by T.M.R

What happens if you take one of the classic BASIC “PRINT to scroll” games and literally turn it on its head by flipping the screen through a custom display list? A simple dodge the background game like Stellar Caverns is what! This one was programmed by your correspondent so is obviously the bestest, honest!

Everybody who took part appears to have enjoyed themselves, although the author sadly didn’t contribute a game despite his endless eulogising about Atari BASIC on quite a few occasions. Your correspondent is hoping that there’ll be another of these impromptu little competitions in the future, hopefully featuring machine code!

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