Published by COMPUTE!
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!