Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 21 / FEBRUARY 1982 / PAGE 177

UMI Amok For VIC

Harvey B. Herman
Associate Editor

One of the reasons people buy personal computers is to play games. I confess that this reviewer is no exception. In contrast to all the serious applications of computers, it is still fun to relax and play an occasional interesting and challenging game. The Commodore VIC is particularly suited for game playing as it comes with an interface for a joystick and can play sound effects through the TV speaker. Unusual displays are also possible because one is not limited to a standard character set composed of letters, numbers, and graphics. A knowledgeable user can define a new set for special effects.

Until now, the VIC games I have previewed have, for the most part, been good, but nevertheless have not taken full advantage of all the VIC's capabilities. All of them have been written in BASIC which can be too slow for good animated displays. Machine language usually looks much more realistic. The AMOK program was a pleasant surprise. The author, Roger Merritt, seems to have done everything right. His machine language program uses the features of the VIC to advantage. My kids, on whom I rely to advise me on game programs, rated it a 9 (out of 10 possible). I did enjoy playing with it myself, but not as much as they did.

You Against The Angry Robots

The game works like this: you are in a partitioned room with angry robots. The robots, shown in various colors, are shooting at you and you, of course, are dodging and returning their fire. You get three chances before the game is over. You lose a chance whenever your character touches the walls, partitions, or robots. If the robots hit you with their fire, you also lose a chance. Your character is controlled with a joystick or the keyboard. Other rooms can be entered (the door closes behind you) where you encounter a new set of differently colored robots. The object of the game is to score the most points. The color of the robot determines its point score and there are bonus scores. The difficulty of the game is set at the beginning.

I think, in all fairness, our enthusiasm is partly due to some of the relatively pedestrian VIC programs which we have previously seen. Your character in this program is a sight to behold. I have not seen graphics this good on either the VIC or the PET and it approaches animations I've seen on dedicated video games. I recommend this program highly, particularly if you have game playing kids. I am told it is similar to the arcade game BEZERK. An adult may not stay interested for hours, but a kid will. Think of all the quarters you will save.

Hints by Herman – if you have added the 3K memory expansion, a special load sequence is necessary. Use:

LOAD "", 1, 1
SYS 4110

This is not in the instructions.

United Microware Industries
3431 H Pomona Blvd.
Pomona, CA 91768