by JAMES HAGUE
Superior sound, speed and strategy set apart this joystick-controlled strategic arcade game for one or two players. The BASIC listing works on all 8-bit Atari computers with 16K cassette or 24K disk.
Quick! Fire at that banana! Watch out for that flying fire hydrant! Rats! You just got rammed by a salami!
Sound familiar? Yes, another one of those games that require the mentality of an ice cube. "Isn't there an arcade-style game for someone who has more than rocks upstairs?" you ask. Yes, there is--Rockslide by James Hague. This strategic Pongo-type arcade experience requires both speed and smarts. And it's only available through this amazing offer! Just type in Listing 1, ROCKSLDE.BAS, check it with TYPO II and SAVE a copy before you RUN it.
When you RUN the program, the words "ANTIC PRESENTS" will appear as the game loads. This is a good time to plug one or two joysticks into the Atari joystick ports. When the flashing purple, pink, orange and green title screen appears, press [SELECT] to choose either one or two players, press [OPTION] to choose between game boards one, two or three, and press [START] to get going. Each of the three boards requires its own style of play to complete. The first is large and roomy, the second is a standard maze, and the third is a rock crusher's delight.
You'll enter a land of blue or green rocky mazes and solid rock walls. Three rocks are flashing. These are valuable diamonds that you must line up so they touch each other in a horizontal or vertical row.
A sliding rock gathers no moss. Remember this. You gotta be smart--to size up the most strategic path through the maze of boulders without getting jammed in a corner (Once you're jammed, you're stuck for good.) You gotta be strong--to bust any boulder that gets in your way. And you gotta move fast--to get those three diamonds lined up right next to each other in a horizontal or vertical row. So size up your options, warm up your brain cells, push the joystick button and get ready for a rock race.
Player one's screen will come into view. Like it or not, you're a Rockbuster, that noisy orange creature lost in the middle of a blue or green rocky maze. To run the Rockbuster around the board, push the joystick. (You can't move diagonally.) Any rock or diamond can slide around the playing field. To accomplish this feat, position yourself alongside a rock, press the button first, then push the joystick in the desired direction. The rock will slide unless it is blocked by a rock behind it.
You can bust up a rock that won't slide by pressing the joystick button as you push against the rock. If you try to crush a diamond, however, your computer will razz you rudely. Sometimes you'll get stuck in a corner. If this happens, you have no choice but to press [START] to abort your turm and forefeit the game to your opponent.
When you finish, you'll hear an explosion and a status screen will appear comparing your score to your opponent's, or to your own best previous time. (By the way, my own fastest score is 8.11 seconds on board one.)
But hurry. Your opponent (if you have one) will plug a joystick into port 2 and press the button to start. And your opponent maybe faster than you. Or smarter. When player two is done, you'll see another status screen and the computer will compare scores to determine a winner.
James Hague is a Texan from out Richardson way and this is his first appearance in Antic.
Listing: ROCKSLDE.BAS Download