Atari Games and Recreations

Review by C. L. Jones



Issue 13

Jan/Feb 85

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by H. Kohl, T. Khan et al.

Published by Reston Publishing Co.

Price 12.50

Basically, this book is a revamped version of the 'Atari Basic Manual' but presented in a simplified form with cartoons and footnotes. It is aimed at the absolute beginner who may be bored by examples in 'Atari Basic' and who wants to put some concepts to use in games.


The idea is a good one in that a concept, for example random numbers, is introduced and a program built up from two or three lines into a full-blown program. In Chapter 2, PLOT and DRAWTO are used with loops and RND numbers to produce a bogglingly boring program in which one half of the screen is filled methodically with squares while the other half PLOTs and DRAWTOs at random. The idea is to guess which screen will fill first. Not particularly impressive!

In the same way, graphics, strings, sound and colour are dealt with. A few subroutines are given on timing and score-keeping together with some sound routines for rocket lift-off, explosions, sirens etc.

This is a fair book for youngsters starting out because a program; of sorts, can be entered and run quite quickly but whilst being a fair attempt to introduce the basics in a palatable way, I feel that it does not give enough value for its price.