Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 54 / NOVEMBER 1984 / PAGE 58


Sean Puckett

"Reflection" is a fast-paced computer version of reversi. You can play it as a strategy game with two people or challenge the brain of the computer. It was originally written for the Atari (24K), and we've added versions for the Commodore 64, unexpanded VIC-20, TI-99/4A (UK and regular BASIC), Apple, IBM PC (with 64K, BASICA, and the color/graphics adapter), PCjr (with Cartridge BASIC), and TRS-80 Color Computer (with Extended Color BASIC). A joystick is required for the Atari, 64, VIC, and Color Computer.

Through the ages, people have devised many pastimes to exercise their minds. The most well-known match of wits is chess, with backgammon and checkers running close behind. Another board game, reversi, is not as popular, but combines the logic of these games with the action and excitement of a good football game.

The trouble is, some players can become so excited that they tend to get carried away and attempt a forward pass with the board, or they fumble and scatter the chips everywhere (a method most often employed by sore losers). A computer version of reversi is ideal. The computer can act as a referee, permitting only legal moves, or it can be a ruthless opponent.

"Reflection" gives you the option of playing either way—against another person or against the computer. The rules are quite simple. Players take turns placing chips on the board, one piece per turn. To capture your opponent's pieces, you sandwich a row of them between one of your existing pieces and the one you're laying down. You can capture one or several pieces this way. The row can be vertical, horizontal, or diagonal. Once a piece is captured, it turns into your color and effectively becomes one of your pieces.

In this example, the black player can capture pieces by placing one of his chips on any spot marked here with an X:


The best move is either the one that captures the most pieces, or the one which leaves your own pieces less vulnerable—depending on the stage of the game. Sometimes you can place a single piece to capture more than one row of chips. Each player must capture at least one enemy piece per turn, or the turn is forfeited. When all of one player's pieces have been captured, or when neither player can make a legal move, the chips are tallied and the victory is awarded.

Because capturing an enemy piece converts it to your color, the game can reverse directions very quickly. A winning player can suddenly find himself far behind, with most of his chips flipped to the opponent's color.

Playing Reflection

The Atari version of Reflection uses one or two joysticks. You can play against another player or against the computer, and you can select whether black or white moves first. Move the large cursor with the joystick, then press the button to place your piece. You can put down only one piece per move, and only on empty squares. If you place your chip so it doesn't capture any enemy pieces, the program removes the piece and you forfeit your turn. You must purposely forfeit in this way if you can't make a legal move. If neither player can make a move, press E on the keyboard to end the game.

All other versions except the VIC version play much like the Atari version, but have extra options. When playing against the computer, there are two levels of computer intelligence. Level two plays better, but naturally it takes longer for the computer to make up its mind.

These versions also let you set up the board prior to play. On all computers except the Color Computer, press W to set down a white chip, B for a black chip, and space to skip a square. You continue left to right, top to bottom, until you reach the lower-right corner. On the Color Computer, use a joystick plugged into port 2 to move to any square, where you type W for a white chip, B for a blue chip, or space bar to leave an empty square.

The 64 version of Reflection requires a joystick plugged into port 2. The VIC-20 uses a single joystick for both players. Both the Apple and IBM versions use a diamond-shaped arrangement of keys to move the cursor: I for Up, M for Down, J for Left, and K for Right. The TI-99/4A version uses the arrow keys E, S, D, and X. When you've moved the cursor to the desired position, press the space bar to place your piece. As with the Atari version, you forfeit your turn and lose the piece if you place it so that no enemy pieces are captured. Press Q to end the game on the TI-99/4A, and E for all other versions.

Before loading the Apple version, first enter this direct statement:

POKE 104,64: POKE 16384,0: NEW

Similarly, enter PCLEAR 1 before loading the Color Computer version.


"Reflection," Atari version.

"Reflection," 64 version.

"Reflection," VIC-20 version

"Reflection," IBM PC/PCjr version

"Reflection," TI-99/4A version

"Reflection," TRS-80 Color Computer version.

"Reflection," Apple version