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Old 23-02-2009, 09:37 AM   #1

Join Date: Feb 2009
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Unhappy Trying to find the name of the oldest PC game

Does anyone know of or remember a platform type of puzzle game for the PC that was only in Black & White and only used text as the game board? So ladders were built with the letter 'H' like this, etc.


Each board of the game was only on a single screne like Load Runner or Donkey Kong but not nearly that good looking since it was ALL text. Came out before these games. This was probably a pre-1980 game.

Any leads on this would be helpful.

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Old 18-04-2009, 10:36 AM   #2

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Highgate, England
Posts: 1,459
Talking Samples of BASIC games - that isn't the oldest PC game.

If you look a bit further down, there're a few links to the BASIC code for a load of games including several "big" ones.
There's also a link to some BASIC software, though you can use the one which comes with Open Office.
The one which is linked here is okay.

Then, you can copy the code into the BASIC box and then play away at some serious retro action.


I have several of these old books that have a load of BASIC and qBASIC programme code that were like the old version of, like, a disc on paper, I guess.

You had to type in the code to get the games to run and that was how you'd share them with your mates and stuff.

The only real graphics options were being able to choose and cycle colours.
You had to portray everything in ASCII, so it sounds about the right age.
Something about plonking the H's on top of each other sounds familiar, too.

I don't think it'd be the oldest PC game, but it'd definitely be a BASIC game, I think.
I used to play them on my BBC Micro and, when I was allowed, on the IBM.

With the IBM, you could save the file onto a 5 1/4" floppy!

There's a book here that looks like the best bet to start looking into.
For $0.01 dollars, you can't really go wrong...

But here's the book's contents:

and another one:

and this one is for the BIG games that take ages to type in:

Holy mother - I played Splat! http://www.atariarchives.org/basicga...e.php?page=151 - that's so weird.

No, it doesn't have the one you're describing in it.
It really sparks a memory though.
Never mind.

But at least, now, you have the BASIC - actually, Sun Microsystem's Open Office has a BASIC programme in it somewhere, I think... - and you have the code for games and that's it.
It takes a few minutes to enter something like 50 lines of code and you've got a game.



You can get BASIC and qBASIC for free and tap the code into it off the net for windows from places like:

I'll have a look through the broom cupboard and see if I can find some of those old books. There were loads of them.

If we find something like it, we could just post the code in here

I remember getting winter olympics one and you had skiing, weaving in and out of H's with a T shaped man with J feet for ski's.

Definitely a BASIC game.
But everyone had their own sort of version of it because they typed in the code and personalised it somehow...
There weren't any real releases that I'm aware of. Maybe on an IBM floppy disc, but since the games were just numbers, symbols and words we used to copy them out on bits of paper during break at school and take them home.

But I was only a kid at that time, so I don't know what my memory's like.
I must've been 4 or 5 or something.

I remember how the BBC smelled and the feel of it's plastic casing the most.

Man, I am so sad for feeling excited about this kind of stuff.
I'm going to go and hide in a cave for a while.

Last edited by Saccade; 18-04-2009 at 11:06 AM. Reason: found the book on Amazon scanned online at atari.
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