COMPUTE!'s Atari Collection Volume 1

Reviewed by Allan Palmer


Issue 16

Jul/Aug 1985

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Published by COMPUTE!
Price 10.95

The latest title in COMPUTE!'s series of Atari-specific publications comprises a mixed bag of games, applications, utilities, educational programs and tutorials. All the articles in this collection have the distinction of appearing in print for the first time. I do not know why this book is not titled 'COMPUTE!'s Fourth Book of Atari', as it is presented in the same successful format as the previously published First, Second and Third Books of Atari. Perhaps someone thought continuing the numbering sequence would create the impression that this was a book about Forth on the Atari?

The selection of articles is well balanced covering a wide range of subjects for the beginner up to intermediate level Atari enthusiasts. There are games, including a scrolling tank game, a Reversi variant, a 'Dungeons & Dragons' style adventure and notably a game with a somewhat different theme of 'Take a photo of the Loch Ness Monster'! Coincidentally, as I was preparing this review I was looking through some recent issues of ANALOG magazine, and in the 'Our Game' column was a suggestion for a 'Nessie' based game from Trevor Skeggs of Milton Keynes. Someone thought it was a good idea, Trevor!

On the applications front, those lucky enough to possess a printer may find the Shopping List program a means to justify their Atari system to their wives. The program allows for the production of neatly formatted shopping check lists. Different lists for different shops may be set up and called in as appropriate. Here is a chance to overcome the difficulties with those cryptic notes which your other half calls a shopping list. No more problems thinking that the text '1 S.R.' means a tube of toothpaste when in fact you are being asked to get a bag of Self Raising flour! If you are musically minded there are three music editors to enable you to utilise the sound capabilities of your ATARI. Also presented is a routine which will enable music, generated by your Atari to be played whilst your own BASIC program is running. There are also eight programs in the educational category included.

Overall the thirty articles in this collection make another fine book from COMPUTE! for Atari owners continuing the excellent standards already set. What next? How about a collected edition of Bill Wilkinson's 'Insight Atari' columns. That would be worth ordering sight unseen!