Classic Computer Magazine Archive START VOL. 3 NO. 3 / OCTOBER 1988



Exterminate, or Be Exterminated!

by Stephen Everman
and PauI Pratt

Battle spiders and scorpions! File BRICK.ARC on your START disk!

The Brickworks has stood abandoned for two generations, except by giant spiders and scorpions. Now the condemned building is about to become a yuppie boutique and these fierce arachnids must go. Since you drew the short straw, you've got to do the job alone, fighting for your very life with nothing but your own cunning for protection.

Brickworks is START's monster-filled arcade game where the object is to conquer as many screens as possible, amassing treasure and squashing spiders along the way! Un-ARC the file BRICK.ARC from your START disk following the Disk Instructions elsewhere in this issue. The only file you will need to play Brickworks is BRICK.PRG, although Brickworks will create a high score file on your disk called HI_SCORE.BRK. Brickworks runs in low resolution only.

Look And Feel, Ye Mighty And Despair

The Brickworks screen is made up of bricks, ladders and springs formed into levels. There are two levels at the beginning of the game and they increase randomly to five every few rounds. The springs and bricks that make up the levels are all separate pieces that can be picked up and moved around, but you can only put them on another brick, another spring or in a hole. You can't put them on a ladder, a prize (believe it or not, there are rewards in this game) or a stack of more than four bricks. To succeed at Brickworks you must survive the spiders' attacks and acquire points. You can accomplish both by making traps and killing the creatures that fall into them.

brickworks.jpg Spiders and scor-
pions spell danger
at the Brickworks!

To create a trap, move the bricks with your joystick until there's a hole in the floor. To do this, hold down the trigger and move the stick toward the brick you want to pick up, then place it where you want it. Keep moving the bricks until you've fashioned a hole. If the hole is above the ground level, you will be able to drop through it to the level below. Spiders, on the other hand, will always become trapped in holes.

Once a crawly thing has been drawn into your trap, you can kill it by jumping up and down on it until it falls through. Climb up so that you are above it--not in its middle--and hold down the button while pulling the joystick up or down. But watch out: they only stay trapped so long before they crawl out most upset!

Singing For Your Supper

After you've vanquished a spider, a prize appears. Grab it and put it in the safe before another creature decides to eat it for dinner. You pick up prizes just as you pick up bricks; to put them in the safe, stand on either side of the safe, press the trigger and push the stick toward it. Once the prize is safely tucked away, its value is added to your score. For every five hundred points, you receive a bonus life.

The other way to get a bonus life is to pick up the golden key that appears randomly as a prize. If you can put the key into the safe without losing it to a creepy-crawly, you'll be awarded an extra life. A word of advice: if a key appears, drop everything and go for it. Those keys can often be the difference between embarrassment and a new high score.

You must kill off every creature in a round before advancing to the next round. The prizes become more valuable as you go along, but the next round is also harder with a greater number of creatures or, far worse, more intelligent creatures to evade.

Monsters Galore

There are four kinds of creatures, each increasingly smart and tough, from a harmless green spider that walks around aimlessly to a deadly purple scorpion that knows exactly where you are and how to get there. Do yourself a favor and study the way these creatures think, then use their own tricks against them.

There are 22 rounds in Brickworks, but if you survive them all, earlier rounds are repeated at random until you quit or get killed. Then your score is compared to the existing high score and the higher of the two is saved to disk. If there isn't a HI_SCORE.BRK on the disk, the program will create one.

If you want to take a break, press any function key to pause the game. To resume, move the joystick or press any key other than a function key.


You may be tempted to think of Brickworks as a game of speed and skill, but the major factor is strategy. The placement of holes and springs is of the utmost importance. Also, the faster you can move around the screen, the greater your advantage, so plan ahead. Take the extra second to move that spring into position or open up the floor so you have an extra exit in case of trouble. And never, never stand still! There is always work to be done to put yourself in a better strategic position.

If you somehow grow tired of playing Brickworks, you can quit by pressing Undo. But if you quit by just turning off your ST, the high score won't be saved to disk.

The source code is in the ASCII file BRICK.LST. Double-click on this file from the Desktop to Show or Print it. To load it in to GFA BASIC, run GFA, click on Merge and then select BRICK.LST. Please note: Brickworks was written in GFA BASIC and to get the maximum speed out of both the interpreted and compiled versions, we used two different sets of timer variables. If you want to run this program in the interpreter (GFA BASIC itself), please swap the two sets of timer variables located in the Equate procedure by putting a REM in front of one and removing the REM from in front of the other.

Stephen Everman and Paul Pratt are recent graduates of Hayward State University in Hayward, California and wrote "Slider" for START Special Issue #4.