Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 88 / SEPTEMBER 1987 / PAGE 30

Monte Carlo

Thomas Carlson

Casino excitement at home can be yours when you type in this solitaire card game. Originally written for the Commodore 64, we've included new versions for the Amiga, Atari ST, Atari eight-bit computers, IBM PC/PCjr, and the Apple II series. The IBM version requires BASICA or GW-BASIC for the PC and compatibles, or Cartridge BASIC for the PCjr. It can be used with both monochrome and color/graphics adapters. The Apple II version runs under either ProDOS or DOS 3.3.

Monte Carlo is the name of a town in Monaco that is famous as a gambling resort. It also gave birth to the name of a card game with simple rules and complex strategies.

To play Monte Carlo, shuffle a deck of cards and deal 20 cards into a grid 5 cards across by 4 cards down. The goal of the game is to remove all the cards from the grid. Cards can be removed only in pairs. The cards must be of the same face value for you to remove them. In addition, they must be adjacent vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. The remaining cards are moved to fill in the gaps. Slide cards to the left to fill in the gaps. Gaps at the right edge are filled in by moving cards up from the row below. When all the cards have been moved, two cards from the deck are dealt into the empty slots at the bottom right corner of the board. Eventually, all cards in the deck are exhausted. You win the game if you are able to remove the remaining cards from the board.

"Monte Carlo" for the 64 is a casino card game with three levels of difficulty.

The Apple version of "Monte Carlo" features hi-res playing cards.

As you can imagine, all this moving about of cards can take quite a long time if you're playing with a real deck of cards. Letting the computer do the busywork makes the game more enjoyable. As you play, you'll develop strategies. Each pair you remove can destroy other pairs on the board and create new ones. But you might also have fun just removing the first pair of cards that you see. This game can be played by those who would rather leave their fate to the wind, those who analyze the consequences of each and every move, and all those players in between. Three difficulty levels are included. The level affects the number of rows on the the grid. Easy is six rows, Medium is five, and Hard is four. Choose the difficulty at the beginning of the game.

"Monte Carlo" for the Amiga lets you select cards with the mouse.

The IBM PC/PCjr version of the game works on both color and monochrome displays.

The Atari 400, 800, XL, and XE version of "Monte Carlo."

"Monte Carlo" for the Atari ST.

Typing It In

"Monte Carlo" is written in BASIC. Type in the correct version for your computer and save a copy.

Except for the Amiga version of the game, all versions use the cursor control keys to move a pointer on the screen. When the arrow is pointing to one of the cards you wish to remove, press the RETURN key (on some computers, this is known as the Enter key). The arrow changes shape to let you know that you have selected a card. If you change your mind after selecting one, go to the card and press RETURN again. The arrow will return to its normal shape.

When you've selected a card, move to the matching card (remember—the two cards you wish to remove must have either a corner or an edge in common) and press RETURN again. The computer will not let you make an illegal move. The Amiga version uses the mouse to select and match cards (see below for details).

Commodore 64 Version

This version of Monte Carlo (Program 1) sports excellent sound effects. Move the cursor with the cursor keys and press RETURN to select a card. Press Q to quit a game and start a new one.

Apple II Version

The Apple II version is in two parts. Program 2, in BASIC, is the main portion of the game. Program 3 contains graphics data for the card shapes, along with the machine language routine to draw cards in high resolution for an attractive display. Type in Program 2 and save a copy. Program 3 must be entered with the Apple version of the "MLX" machine language entry program, found elsewhere in this issue. When MLX asks for a starting and ending address, respond with these values:


Type in the data from Program 3. Before leaving MLX, save a copy of your work with the name CARDPLOT.OBJ0. The BASIC program expects a file of this name to be on the disk.

To play Monte Carlo, simply load and run Program 2. Use the cursor keys to move the arrow. Press Return to select a card. Since the Apple II+ does not have the up or down cursor keys, press Ctrl-J for up and Ctrl-K for down. The Apple IIc, IIe, and IIGS have all four cursor keys. To start a new game, press Q.

Amiga Version

The Amiga version of Monte Carlo (Program 4) uses the mouse to select cards. To choose a card, move the mouse pointer to the first card and click the left mouse button. Then move the pointer to the other card and click again. The cards are removed and the other cards slide into place. If you wish to deselect a card, point to the selected card and click on it again. Press Q at any time for a new game.

IBM PC/PCjr Version

The IBM version of Monte Carlo (Program 5) requires BASICA or GW-BASIC for the PC and compatibles. If you're using a PCjr, be sure to use Cartridge BASIC. The program will work with either a color/graphics or monochrome adapter. As with most other versions, use the cursor control keys and Enter to play the game. Press Q at any time if you wish to start a new game.

Monte Carlo For Atari 400, 800, XL, And XE

Program 6, for Atari eight-bit computers, uses the cursor keys (either alone or in combination with the CTRL key) to move the cursor. Press RETURN to select a card. Press Q at any time to start a new game.

ST Version

The Atari ST version (Program 7) works in any screen resolution. Use the cursor keys to move the arrow pointer. Press RETURN to select a card. Because of an oddity in ST BASIC, the game board will occasionally be displayed incorrectly. If the board looks strange to you, select a nonmatching pair of cards. The board will be displayed correctly. Press Q at any time for a new game.