Classic Computer Magazine Archive ANTIC VOL. 5, NO. 6 / OCTOBER 1986


For Atari 8-bits and STs



Build a multi-colored castle on your Atari screen with this intriguing and versatile educational game. The 8-bit BASIC version delivers four colors. It requires 32K memory with disk or cassette, but can also run on a monochrome monitor or black-and-white TV set. The ST BA SIC version lets you choose seven colors from the desktop and requires a color monitor.

Castle screenIf you ever put together a puzzle made from wooden blocks that come in different shapes and colors, you know how to play Castle. A colored shape is added to the castle's outline when you correctly identify the shape's written name. This enjoyable educational game gives children practice in both spelling and recognizing squares, circles, triangles, rectangles, semi-circles, parallelograms and trapezoids. Older players can also face a tougher challenge-identifying each shape by the geometric formula of its area.

8-Bit Owners: Type in Listing 1, CASTLEBAS, check it with TYPO II and SAVE a copy before you RUN the program. You operate Castle with a joystick plugged into port 1.

ST Owners: Type in Listing 2, STCASTLE.BAS, check it with TYPO ST and SAVE a copy before you RUN it. You operate the ST version of Castle with the mouse.


When you RUN the program, a screen will appear showing the seven shapes that form the castle. Pressing the button on the 8-bit joystick (or ST mouse) will take you to the prompt where you choose between the two levels of play. Shapes is the younger children's version where each shape must be identified by name. Formulas is the advanced version which requires the correct geometric formula for each shape's area.

The computer then draws the outline of the castle at the left side of the screen. To the right of the castle, it begins to display shapes, one at a time. As each shape appears on the screen, the player tries to identify it. If the answer is correct, the shape is colored in on the castle. If not, you'll have to try again.

In the 8-bit version, the cursor is simply moved around using the joystick until the correct answer is highlighted. Pressing the trigger button selects the answer. The ST version uses the mouse to point to the correct answers and the left mouse button to select them.

Once you've built the entire castle, the program will display the number of incorrect guesses you made and invite you to restart the program.


To simplify all the graphics work in the program, Castle's graphics routines get their information from DATA statements. As a result, a handful of drawing and coloring routines can be used to create the shapes that form the castle-in all their different sizes and colors.

The same routines could be used to create any picture- a house, an animal, a machine-simply by changing the DATA statements. In fact, the Castle game could easily become a Horse game or a Contraption game. All it would take is a little time and design work-and a lot of DATA.

Tracy and Lori Hershey's original Apple version of Castle appeared in II Computing, August 1986. Antic Technical Assistant Bill Marquardt programmed the Atari 8-bit and ST adaptations. The 8-bit version uses Graphics 7 for simplicity, but an ambitious programmer might want to tinker with Graphics 7 1/2 (ANTIC Mode E) and display list interrupts to produce higher resolution and more colors.

Children using the ST version will enjoy learning to use the control panel to change the colors that the computer paints with. Incidentally, the ST version was written without a single GOTO statement. (See the New Owners Column GOTO debate in this issue.-ANTIC ED)

8-Bit Listing 1: CASTLE.BAS Download

ST Listing 1: STCASTLE.BAS Download