Classic Computer Magazine Archive START VOL. 5 NO. 4 / DECEMBER 1990


Is It A Game - Or A Typing Tutor?


Improve your knowledge of keyboard layout and your typing skills with this engaging maze game, a delightful cross between a typing tutor and Pac-Man. This BASIC program works with all Atari 8-bit computers with a minimum 48K.

Improve your knowledge of keyboard layout and your typing speed with Key Whizzer. This entertaining game mixes arcade maze-chase action with a typing tutor, for lots of educational fun. You travel around the maze by typing the letter which lies in the direction you wish to move (you're an asterisk) while avoiding the enemy "at" signs (@). in the process, you'll develop a reflexive knowledge of the keyboard that will speed up your typing, whether you're a touch-typist or use the old "hunt-and-peck" method.

Getting Started
Type in Listing 1, WHIZZER.BAS, check it with TYPO II, and SAVE a copy to disk. When you RUN Key Whizzer the maze appears. The program pauses briefly, while loading its machine-language routines. Then it asks, "PLAY? Y/N." Press [Y] for yes, and the game begins with letters filling the maze. You are the pink asterisk in the lower center of the maze, surrounded by blue letters. To move, simply type the letter next to you in the direction you want to go. As you cross over each letter, it turns purple.

Your task: change all the letters to purple, while avoiding your relentless pink enemies. Four of them chase you, dogging your tracks faster and faster as you finish each maze. Let one catch you, and you lose a life.

The sound effects and the keyboard control are handled by vertical blank interrupt machine language routines. Another M/L routine handles player positioning. With the help of speedy machine language, the keyboard control should be fast enough for the fastest of speed-typers.

Jim Rogers lives in Marian, OH. This is his first appearance in ANTIC.