Classic Computer Magazine Archive ANTIC VOL. 8, NO. 3 / JULY 1989


Red Squares

Challenge for your mind and your reflexes. By Marc Abramowitz

Red Squares screen

Tired of shoot-'em-ups and mazes? This colorful strategy game, adapted from the popular Russian Import, challenges both your mind and reflexes. This BASIC program works on 8-bit Atari computers with at least 48K and disk drive.

Are you sick and tired of shoot-'em-up games? Do the words "Space Invaders" drive you crazy? Well, if you're tired of senseless violence, ringing ears and joystick-cramped hands, try Red Squares, a challenging strategy game that challenges your mind and reflexes.

Red Squares is based on an imaginative Russian computer game. A popular American version has been released for several makes of personal computers including the Atari ST- but not for the 8-bit Atari.

But now this oversight is remedied. Red Squares lets you play this colorful and exciting new game on your 8-bit Atari. The game features 50 speeds and other options for added challenge.


Type in Listing 1, SQUARES.BAS, and check it with TYPO II. Be sure to SAVE a copy before you RUN it.

If you have trouble typing the special characters in lines 100 and 8010, don't type them in. Instead, type Listing2, check it with TYPO II and SAVE a copy. When you RUN Listing 2, it creates these hard-to-type lines and stores them in a file called LINES. LST.

To merge the two programs, LOAD "D:SQUARES.BAS" and then ENTER "D:LINES.LST." Remember to SAVE the completed program before you RUN it.

Various shapes, all made of four squares, fall into a pit. The object is to move and rotate the shapes, guiding them into position at the bottom of the pit. Whenever the shapes fill a complete line across the bottom of the pit, that line disintegrates, and the pieces above move down. The game is lost when the pieces are piled up all the way to the top of the pit.

You get a certain number of points for completing a line, depending on how close it is to the top of the pit. The closer the line is to the top of the pit, the more points you get. You also score one point for each shape that falls into the pit. Even if you can't complete many lines, you should try to survive as long as possible.

When you first RUN Red Squares, press [START] or the joystick button to reach the options screen. Move the joystick up and down or press [SELECT] to change the speed, which ranges from 1 to 50. As you play, the speed increases gradually, so don't start at too high a speed.

Moving the joystick right and left or pressing [OPTION] lets you add extra challenge to the game, by starting the game with one to ten layers of randomly-placed pieces in the bottom of the pit.


Once you've selected speed and height, press [START] or the joystick button to begin the game. The pit will appear, and pieces will start falling from above, one by one.

Move pieces right or left using the joystick, or by pressing [J] and [L]. To rotate a piece 90 degrees, press the joystick trigger, or [K]. Pieces may be rotated several times-if the shape changes with such rotation. The square doesn't rotate, since the shape would remain the same.

Try to leave as few gaps as possible when landing pieces. The more lines you complete, the more room you'll have for future pieces-and the more you manage to get into the pit, the higher your score.

These rules are simple, but play can be challenging. With a little practice, you'll know which pieces will fit which spaces best-but the piece you need most may take its time about arriving. As the pieces fall faster and faster you'll find yourself struggling to place each piece just so. It takes intense concentration and some sharp thinking to truly master the falling squares.

MarcAbramowitz is a Freshman at Port Richmond High School In Staten Island, New York Besides computers, bis interests include playing the guitar and fantasy role-playing games-particularly Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles and Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. This is his first appearance In Antic

Listing 1: SQUARES.BAS Download

Listing 2: LINES.BAS (Not Needed)