Exciting Computer Games

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25 Exciting Computer Games25 Exciting Computer Games in Basic for All Ages

I don’t know if BASIC is even still a thing at all, but even if it is for some reason used as a beginning coding teaching tool, the cover of this book is ridiculous. Are those 5″ floppies at the bottom right-hand corner of the cover?

A computer book from the early 80s is not “exciting. It is “basic”ly useless. See what I did there?






  1. The latest incarnation, Visual Basic, is actually a decent programming language. It’s what you use to write code behind Microsoft’s applications like Excel or Word. I’ve been having a lot of fun learning it.

    Which does not alter your evaluation of this book one bit.

  2. Ha! I am 45 and this is the sort of thing I did when I was 10. BASIC was quite difficult to do; you’d laboriously type in all the code, and something wouldn’t work because you’d made a typo….somewhere. Or maybe the magazine had made a typo and you’d never know what. I clearly remember trying to make a game that was kind of like Centipede, and it didn’t work at all.

    I think Python is now the favored language for kids getting started.

  3. A lot of vintage computer fans and programmers would still be interested in a book like this. It’s a historical look at programming language, gaming, and computers of the time.

  4. Hehe, I escaped subjection (or subjugation) to LOGO but taught myself some QBASIC on my father’s company laptop they threw out (without wiping the hard disk). I have fine memories of playing Kroz back then too and reinstalling MS-DOS 6.22 and tweaking CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT to get more free memory for Apogee games like Commander Keen.

  5. The only coding class I ever took was in Basic… in 1983. It convinced me that I did not want to be a programmer — too much linear thinking, too much hanging on every character. Since then, I’ve been told I’d make a good object-oriented programmer, since I’m very aware of the relationships among things. I wonder what would have happened if I’d been taught in a different way, or in a different programming language?

      1. YES, ZZT was freaking awesome… I completely forgot about it, too, until I randomly stumbled upon this.

  6. What a modern-day, top-level code writer said to me in response to this:

    “Books like this created an informative, instructive moment for me. You used to have to type in programs from books and magazines, and sometimes the going was pretty awful, starting with the fact that I used an Atari 400 with a wipe off membrane keyboard.

    These programs were written in BASIC because everyone had a BASIC cartridge, it was relatively easy to use, and easy to understand.

    However, one particular program was in machine code, but transcribed to basic. The whole thing looked like this:

    100 DATA 69, 132, 148, 235

    And so on for maybe 50 lines. If you got any of the numbers wrong, it didn’t work.

    I spent maybe 3 hours typing in this code for a game called “Crash, Tinkle, Tinkle”…ultimately I used this to start learning how to program in machine language, but initially I was excited just to see it work.

    Unfortunately I plugged the computer into one of those lamp timers you use to cycle the lights when you go on vacation. Before I had a chance to save…click.

    Moral of the story, don’t plug the computer into a lamp timer.”

  7. I am having flashbacks to Junior High…is BASIC the computer languages that involved a lot of “if”‘s and “than”‘s?


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