Game Show 04 Overview

By Ross Little

Originally published in EUG #23


Welcome to this issue's Game Show, which happens to be the last regular slot I'll be doing for some time. Coincidentally it ends in the same month it began, in the misty months of 1994.

This time I've got two games to proudly show for my work - Knights, a one player puzzle game and a computer conversion of the traditional board game (At least according to the blurb!), and Tennis, a quick conversion of those video games available in the late seventies.


Although this game is based on a relatively simple idea, it is quite a difficult task to complete it in a low number of moves. The game takes place on a 5 by 5 square board and the object is to transpose the blue and white counters using the Knight's move as in Chess. The blue counters are based on the left side of the board at the start, with the white on the opposing side, and a blank hole in the centre. The idea is that the highlight character (a blue or white dot) is moved around the board using the Space bar, selecting a counter which you can move into the empty hole. It will only rest on the legal counters, as determined by the Knight's move. By doing this, the counters are gradually shuffled around the board until Hey Presto! All of the white characters will be on the left hand side and all of the blue on the right! At this point, the computer checks your number of moves against the disk-stored lowest and, if you have improved on it, it will be saved for prosperity (or at least until the next time).

This puzzle is, in fact, a multi-file game. Three files have to be distributed with this version and the final ~KNlow/~ is automatically created if it doesn't exist. ~KNIGHTS/~ is the actual game, ~KNscr/~ is the full Mode 5 screen display (created using Elkpaint) and ~+KNIGHT/~ is a text file containing the complete instructions and extra information. ~KNlow/~ is created with a default value of 150 moves.

Although this version of the game is good fun, it is better to play on the genuine wooden board with blue and white marbles - even though you don't have to count your moves with the computer version! Talking of moves, to see how good you are, the original box states that:

  • 50 - 55 moves is average.
  • Less than 50 moves is good.
  • Less than 45 moves is excellent.

Well, I guess they're figures to aim for. Whether you actually get there or not...


This game is a simple version of the video games popular back in the Seventies with the main difference between this and most other versions is that, in this version you play against the computer, thus preventing the necessity of having two players at the keyboard. Controls is via the < and > keys, for left and right respectively. For the uninitiated, the game is played using two bats. In this version they are at the top and bottom of the screen. When the ball is served, from the middle left of the screen, the players have to move their bats in order to intercept it and prevent it from gliding off the screen. When the ball has been lost by a player, a point is scored by the opponent. The first player to reach ten points wins the game.

The computer uses the top bat, and controls it automatically, attempting at every stage to meet up with the ball. The code used makes the computer a very good opponent but by no means an invincible one! The key to beating it is to bear in mind that the computer does not use foresight to plan where the ball might well end up. So if you can get a 'spin' on the ball (by hitting it with the correct part of the bat!) then it can travel across the screen at a faster speed than the computer can react. Unfortunately, it is quite a difficult technique!

Goodbye For Now!

Like I said, this is the last Game Show I will be doing for a while. Unfortunately I just can't fit programming in as a regular thing from now on for various reasons. However, you never know, maybe I'll do the odd Game Show Special or such...

Merry Christmas!

Ross Little, EUG #23