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aMAZEd in SPACE.
By Aquila and Richard Houser.
Game Overview.
Arcadian 1, no. 8 (July 20, 1979): 60-61.
Video filmed with Canon Powershot SX60 HS camera.
Video created by BallyAlley.
Video published October 27, 2016.

aMAZEd in SPACE was written for Bally BASIC. This program was loaded from the 300-baud version of the game that was archived from tape and is available on BallyAlley.com. This game runs on the Bally Arcade/Astrocade, a game console/computer released in January 1978. This program was originally published in Arcadian 1, no. 8 (July 20, 1979).

Description from Arcadian:

aMAZEd in SPACE game included in this issue is a rocketship-thru-the-maze challenge with a number of levels of difficulty. One problem is that I've lost the name of the originator. I sent the material to Dick Houser who made a few modifications and prepared the descriptive material. Note how he has separated the listing into blocks that correspond with the flow chart. The program lines marked C are just for information and do not go into the machine.

From Richard Houser's hand-written program instructions:

Maneuver spaceship thru maze without crashing into walls. Direction is controlled by joystick 1. Path size, maze height, maze width and degree of difficulty, are selected by keyboard input. Score is based on these inputs and time taken to complete maze. It takes quite awhile to complete maze interior, so start small.

Select Hand-Written Comments from Aquila's January 1, 1979 Letter:

This was my first try at writing a program on ANY computer, so if you see things to improve, PLEASE improve it for whatever reason. You could get rid of plenty PRINT stuff and also the changing star pattern at the end. I just put those in for effect?

The aMAZEd in SPACE video can also be watched and/or downloaded from the Internet Archive:
  1. aMAZEd in SPACE, by Author (archive.org)

Arcadian Promotional Video.
VHS Demonstration Footage.
Created by Bob Fabris.
1980.
Video published July 7, 2006.

Bob Fabris compiled these 21 examples of programs running on the Bally Arcade onto video in 1980. The video is roughly edited (it would probably be considered fairly edited for its time). It is shown here as Bob originally showed it at (I think) a computer show in 1980. The video's pace is slow, but worth watching, as it shows what Bob believed to be top-notch (mostly) BASIC programs that would promote the Bally Arcade and his Arcadian newsletter (where many of these programs were first published).

This statement is at the end of the video, "All of this tape was produced using material provided by or to subscribers of the Arcadian, a newsletter devoted to the Bally machine and its uses. (C) Robert Fabris, 1980."

Here are the contents of this video in order or appearance:
  1. 00:07 - 3 Tone Music [Star Wars Theme] (Brett Bilbrey, Bob Fabris Tape Collection, 1980)
  2. 00:32 - [Arcadian] Logo (by Guy McLimore, Arcadian, November 1979)
  3. 01:19 - Giant Letters [Arcadian 2x Size] (Glenn Pogue, Arcadian, May 1979)
  4. 01:36 - Checkers (John Collins, Arcadian, May 1979)
  5. 03:17 - Bally Chess Board - (Collins Computer Company, Tape, July 1979)
  6. 05:05 - Bangman (Ernie Sams, Arcadian, June 1979)
  7. 06:13 - Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring by Johann Sebastian Bach (George Moses, Tape, October 1980)
  8. 07:17 - Bio-Rhythms (by Dave Walter, Arcadian, March 1980)
  9. 08:23 - Zappit (Roger Swearington, Arcadian, January 1980)
  10. 10:20 - Bowl-A-Rama (Bob Hensel, Arcadian, April 1980)
  11. 12:30 - Lunar Lander (Bally Manufacturing Corp. Tape, 1978)
  12. 12:58 - Rainbow (Ver. 2) (Larry Hanson, EPROM in Bob Fabris Collection, 1979/1980)
  13. 15:19 - Star Example (Larry Hanson, Printed Listing in Bob Fabris Collection, 1979/1980)
  14. 15:53 - Color BASIC (Larry Hanson, EPROM from Bob Fabris Collection, 1979/1980)[Hack of Bally BASIC]
  15. 16:07 - Color Bars (Larry Hanson, Printed Listing in Bob Fabris Collection, 1979/1980)
  16. 16:41 - Color Example (Larry Hanson, Printed Listing in Bob Fabris Collection, 1979/1980)
  17. 17:04 - Color Dots (Larry Hanson, Printed Listing in Bob Fabris Collection, 1979/1980)
  18. 17:37 - 2000 AD (Ed Larkin, Arcadian, March 1980)
  19. 20:38 - Memory Display (Chuck Thomka, Arcadian, July 1979)
  20. 21:29 - "Color BASIC Has 32 Colors" - (Larry Hanson, Printed Listing in Bob Fabris Collection, 1979/1980)
  21. 21:47 - Chopsticks (This might be Fred Cornett, Cursor, March 1980)
All of these programs are archived on BallyAlley.com. They can each be loaded onto a real Bally Arcade/Astrocade and used. Some of these program, notably Color BASIC, are cartridges and can also be used easily using the Astrocade emulator in MAME.

Click here for stills from this video.

The high-quality (4.8GB) Arcadian Promotional Video VHS demonstration video can also be viewed and/or downloaded from the Internet Archive. This video is a copy of the VHS to DVD transfer that was done in 2006:
  1. Arcadian Promotional Video VHS video, created by Bob Fabris (archive.org)
This video was originally available here on BallyAlley.com. So as to not break many links to this video, this compressed, much lower-quality (230MB) video, is still available here. However, it's recommended that you view the video on YouTube or download it directly from Archive.org. Here is the link here on BallyAlley.com:
  1. Arcadian Promotional Video (BallyAlley.com)

Bally Artillery.
By John Rhodes.
Creative Computing, August 1982, Pages 191-192.
For the Bally Arcade/Astrocade and BASIC.
Video Overview created by BallyAlley.
Video published June 18, 2018.

I was browsing random issues of Creative Computing this on June 7, 2018 when I came across a game that I had never heard of before today: Bally Artillery by John W. Rhodes. This game isn't to be confused with Artillery Duel by John Perkins. Both have the same idea, but they are completely different programs.

Even though this game was published in August 1982, the author seems to imply in his write-up that it was written in late 1978 or early 1979, shortly after he got his Bally Arcade. Lance Squire typed this game into BASIC in order to archive it.

The video is split into four main parts:

0:00 - Narration and overview of Bally Artillery
0:51 - Bally Artillery (Gameplay)
6:59 - Bally Artillery (BASIC Listing)
8:24 - End Credits

Here are the author's notes from the Bally Artillery article:

"In December of 1978 I was ready to buy my first computer system, but my requirements were not easy to meet. I wanted something that could handle arcade-quality games, had high- resolution graphics capability, color display, and Basic in PROM.

"I was not satisfied with anything my local dealers had to show (no one I visited had a Compucolor. the Apple dealers were showing low-resolution only, and the Atari was only a rumor), but on the basis of the (somewhat premature) advertising for the keyboard/expansion unit. I decided to buy a Bally Professional Arcade. I could use Tiny Basic for a while, and turn it into a "real" machine in just a few short months.

"It was just a few short months later that the local dealers began to show Compucolors and high-resolution Apples, and it seemed that the Bally expansion unit was more of a rumor than the Atari 800. I would visit the showrooms, see those beautiful full-size keyboards, watch people work in "real" Basic and be as green as the color monitors.

"I particularly liked the artillery game that Compucolor called 'Shoot...' This game generates a random terrain display and wind factor and positions two artillery emplacements on the screen so that two opponents can take turns trying to obliterate each other. Eventually I resolved that I either had to buy a Compucolor or program this game on my Bally. I chose the latter.

"This turned out to be quite a challenge with less than 2K of memory and integer-only Tiny Basic. But the Bally BASIC is quite sound for game programming and easy to work with. The greatest difficulty was finding an integer sine routine, but after searching the magazines I found a routine to adapt to my purpose. I started out using a full ballistic equation, but soon found by experimentation that I could use an approximation. This eliminated an integer square-root routine and added speed in the bargain.

"I spent approximately two months writing, debugging, and fine-tuning the program, but it was worth the effort.

"A few months later I did buy the Compucolor and have been using it ever since. I'm well satisfied with it and use it for a variety of tasks. But my wife and I still enjoy the Bally for its games, especially the artillery game."

The article also includes notes and an explanation of how the program works.

The full article can be read here: I'm not sure how I overlooked Bally Artillery, as it appeared in a major publication. It remained under the radar until now. Thanks to Lance for typing this program in so that we can play the game.

The Bally Artillery video can also be watched and/or downloaded from the Internet Archive:
  1. Bally Artillery Game Overview, by Adam Trionfo (archive.org)

Bangman.
By Ernie Sams.
Game Overview.
Arcadian 1, no. 7 (Jun 15, 1979): 47-49. (Bally BASIC version).
Arcadian 6, no. 7 (May 25, 1984): 64-65. (Reprint for "AstroBASIC").
Video filmed with Canon Powershot SX60 HS camera.
Video created by BallyAlley.
Video published October 26, 2016.

This video is for the 300-baud, Bally BASIC version of Bangman.

Game Instructions from Printing in Arcadian (1979):

Bangman game program included this month is by Ernie Sams. It has a good scheme for entering characters without their appearing on the screen, and a search routine can locate and account for multi-usage of a letter. I am also including Ernie's sheet of documentation that will be a help to a lot of us.

Game Instructions from Printing in Arcadian (1984):

Bangman is a take-off on the classic Hangman word spelling game. It has two novel features - letters being entered are hidden from view of the opposing player - and the penalty for losing is not a hanging...

In-Game Instructions

One person keys in a word to 10 letters; another tries to guess it with no more than 9 wrong guesses using the knob and trigger.

The Bangman video can also be watched and/or downloaded from the Internet Archive:
  1. Bangman, by Ernie Sams (archive.org)

Blue Ram Operating Guide, The.
By Ken Lill. 1984.
Blue Ram BASIC Tutorial.
For the Bally Arcade/Astrocade with Blue Ram Expansion.
Video Overview created by BallyAlley.
Video published May 23, 2018.

The Blue Ram Operating Guide by Ken Lill is a Blue Ram BASIC tutorial written for the Bally Arcade/ Astrocade in 1984. The Blue Ram Operating Guide loads using the Perkins Engineering Blue Ram RAM expansion for the Bally Arcade/Astrocade. The "Guide" is an interactive tutorial which starts out explaining the operation of the Blue Ram hardware-- how to connect it to the Astrocade, what the switches do, and more. This includes some images and animations. The later sections are mostly text explaining the new commands in Blue Ram BASIC.

The Blue Ram Operating Guide requires 16K of expansion RAM and is used from four cassette tape loads (actually, each load is three separate loads). When the load is done, it tells the user to turn off the tape (i.e. stop playing the archived file). It also tells the user when to turn the tape back on again. Then the program automatically senses when the new load is started. It then asks the user to wait for the load and then goes through its explanation again.

It took Ken Lill over three months to create the tape that shows almost all of the features of the Blue Ram BASIC 1.1 in "real time." The tutorial actually shows on the screen what each feature does and how to use it, rather than the user needing to go through the manual and look up how the new Blue Ram BASIC commands work.

The video is split into three main parts:

0:00 - Narration and overview of Blue Ram Operating Guide
7:40 - Blue Ram Operating Guide (video of all four parts of the tutorial)
37:21 - End Credits

If you're curious about the extra features of Blue Ram BASIC 1.1, then you will enjoy this tutorial for Astrocade users.

The The Blue Ram Operating Guide video can also be watched and/or downloaded from the Internet Archive:
  1. The Blue Ram Operating Guide Overview, by Adam Trionfo (archive.org)

Bombardier.
By L&M Software.
Tape 3, October 1981.
"Let's Play" Overview.
By Arcade USA (William "Willie" Culver).
For Bally Arcade/Astrocade with "AstroBASIC."
Video published September 19, 2013.

Imagine yourself flying over a mountainous area in a bomber. This area is the base for numerous Russian missile silos. In your hand, you control the release pin of a very powerful bomb, all you have to do to release it is squeeze the trigger. Wait! Don't fire yet!! Check the wind direction and speed.
  1. Bombardier Instructions

Candy Man.
By L&M Software.
Game Overview.
Video filmed with Canon Powershot SX60 HS camera.
Video created by BallyAlley.
Video published June 27, 2017.

Candy Man was released on tape in early 1983 for the Bally Arcade/Astrocade. It loads via the Astrovision release of Bally BASIC (usually called "AstroBASIC"). The game was written by Bill Loos and Greg Miller, who make up L&M Software. Andy Guevara, of Bit Fiddlers, seems to have written the machine language subroutines for this game. It's unclear to me how much of this game is written in BASIC, but by the speed of this game, my guess is that it relies heavily on machine language subroutines built into the Bally's 8K on-board system ROM. The sequel to Candy Man was released on cartridge and is called Ms. Candyman.

For those that don't need background material about the game, I start playing Candy Man at:

15:03 - Video footage of Candy Man

Upon revisiting Candy Man, I see that it's still quite a fun game. There is a lot to the game, including some pretty good sound effects. It's fun gobbling up the baddies when the screen turns blue. I think it's a good gimmick, and a nice change from the power pellets in Pac-Man, that you can eat the baddies at a certain score, rather than when you eat something in the maze.

Candy Man gets pretty hectic as more baddies are added to the screen. I've only ever gotten up to four baddies on one level (so far), but there can be a maximum of two jokers and four gremlins on the screen at once. I imagine that this game would feel really cramped once all the gremlins have been released from the jail.

The Candy Man video can also be watched and/or downloaded from the Internet Archive:
  1. Candy Man overview, by Adam Trionfo (archive.org)

Castle of Horror.
By WaveMakers
Tape 12 (March 1982).
"Let's Play" Overview.
By Arcade USA (William "Willie" Culver).
For Bally Arcade/Astrocade with "AstroBASIC."
Video published September 21, 2013.

You will find yourself in a room surrounded by monsters whose only mission is to kill and destroy: you are the target. You have been armed with the skill to zap out blocks and build barricades to protect yourself against the relentless onslaught of the monsters. You are given 5 lives, use them wisely. Each monster has its own strengths and weakness; learn them to use against them.
  1. Castle of Horror Instructions

Catch the Bomb.
By New Image.
Tape #9010, April 1982.
"Let's Play" Overview.
By Arcade USA (William "Willie" Culver).
For Bally Arcade/Astrocade with "AstroBASIC."
Video published September 29, 2013.

The object of the game is to catch the falling bombs with the bucket on the bottom of the screen.
  1. Catch the Bomb Instructions

Caterpillar.
By Thadd*Pro (Kevin O'Neill).
Game Overview.
Niagara B.U.G. Bulletin, 1.7 (September 6, 1983): 8-10.
Arcadian, 6.10 (Aug. 24, 1984): 95.
Video filmed with Canon Powershot SX60 HS camera.
Video created by BallyAlley.
Video published April 28, 2017.

This "AstroBASIC" game is 1983's Caterpillar, by Thadd*Pro (Kevin O'Neill). It originally appeared as a type-in program in the newsletter Niagara B.U.G. Bulletin, 1.7 (September 6, 1983): 8-10. It was later reprinted in Arcadian, 6.10 (Aug. 24, 1984): 95. There is a 1986 revised version Caterpillar by Klaus Doerge. It's more colorful and adds a potentially higher score for multiple players. I played both games and I prefer the original version.

Caterpillar is an "AstroBASIC" variant on the classic videogame, "Snake." In this case, you move a caterpillar around the screen, growing ever longer while you pick up items for points. Unlike other versions of Snake, you grow continuously, not only when you eat snacks. In my eyes, Caterpillar mixes Checkmate with "Snake" and comes up with an interesting variant.

The brief directions from the newsletters are:

Caterpillar is a game of luck and skill. You control the direction of travel of your caterpillar and try to eat the floppy disks that appear on the screen. Be careful-- if you touch any walls or the trail that you leave, your head gets crushed and you die. You also die if the timer at the bottom of the screen runs out. There are an undisclosed amount of different screens and each one gets harder. Scoring works by the more time you have left the more points you score.

I noticed that in Caterpillar you'll encounter some issues with the gameplay due to the completely random distribution of the floppy disks that you must collect. This includes the disks appearing on your own trail! Just start another game and see if you can make it a little further on your next game.

The Caterpillar game overview video can also be watched and/or downloaded from the Internet Archive:
  1. Caterpillar Game Overview, by Adam Trionfo (archive.org)

Chessette.
By Craig Anderson.
CURSOR 2, no. 4 (November/December 1980): 76-77.
Videogame Overview by BallyAlley.
Video published February 25, 2019.
For Bally Arcade/Astrocade with "AstroBASIC."

This is a simple, two-player-only version of Chess for the Bally Arcade/Astrocade. The pieces are drawn to the screen and the players each take turns moving them using special to/from notation. Read the complete documentation for Chessette in the Cursor newsletter to understand the rules.

This video shows a complete, 6-move game: ending with a trapped queen:

Sandor Takacs vs Josef Emil Krejcik
Vienna blitz (1920), Vienna AUT

This video is broken into several parts. Here is a breakdown of the entire video to make viewing it easier to find what you're looking for in this video:

0:00 - Chessette, Overview of game
2:57 - Chessette - Running and playing the game
5:54 - Chessette - BASIC Program Listing
7:01 - End Credits

Chessette runs in only 1.8K of RAM. It's a simple, but effective proof-of-concept as to whether a chess game with graphics could be created on the Astrocade.


Claim Jumpers.
By L&M Software.
Tape 1, 1981.
"Let's Play" Overview.
By Arcade USA (William "Willie" Culver).
For Bally Arcade/Astrocade with "AstroBASIC."
Video published September 17, 2013.

This is the classic paper game where there is a grid of dots and two players draw lines between them. Simple, yet highly addictive. One or two players.
  1. Claim Jumpers Instructions

Crown of Zeus, The.
By Todd Johnson.
For the Bally Arcade/Astrocade with "AstroBASIC."
Video filmed with Canon Powershot SX60 HS camera.
Video Overview created by BallyAlley.
Video published August 16, 2017.

The BASIC game, The Crown of Zeus, by Todd Johnson appeared in the November 1982 Arcadian newsletter. The Crown of Zeus instructions, minus the parts on how to type in the game, from the Arcadian are here:

This program, for "AstroBASIC" only, takes you to a dark decaying castle in the evil land of Scrom. You've been asked, as the best warrior in the land of Beekum, to retrieve the Crown of Zeus which the Scromites have stolen. The crown, when worn, gives the wearer the awesome ability to cause anything he or she wishes to vanish. Apparently the Scromites have not yet discovered the crown's powers. But as you hid in the forest outside the castle, you saw a troop of orcs from the warring land of Machor slip in through the front gate. They surely know the power of the crown and will have to be dealt with...

According to ads in Arcadian 5, no. 1 (Nov. 5, 1982): 9. and Arcadian 4, no. 10 (Aug. 06, 1982): 103., The Crown of Zeus is the first in a series of four programs that take place on the planet Gibeleous. The other three games in the series are available only on tape and are called:
  1. The Rescue of Catherine
  2. Escape from Rantanam IV
  3. The Tower of Machor
Six issues after The Crown of Zeus was published, the Arcadian newsletter printed this small note about user maps: "Crown of Zeus castle floor plan - Have you determined what the castle looks like? We have one idea here and would like to get other opinions, so send in your version." (Arcadian 5, no. 7 (May 6, 1983): 106.)

Two people sent The Crown of Zeus maps to Bob Fabris, but they were never published in the Arcadian. Luckily, they are part of the Bob Fabris Collection, and I was able to scan and archive them (the maps are included in the video). Here is a list of both maps:
  1. The Crown of Zeus Maps, Set 1 - Castle Map by Edward Mahoney (April 20, 1983)
  2. The Crown of Zeus Maps, Set 2 - Floor Plans by Kent Brenden (July 9, 1983)
I love the deep concept of the game. It is also amazing that there were three sequels to this game.

The The Crown of Zeus video can also be watched and/or downloaded from the Internet Archive:
  1. The Crown of Zeus game overview, by Adam Trionfo (archive.org)

Flying Ace.
By WaveMakers.
Tape 2, 1982.
"Let's Play" Overview.
By Arcade USA (William "Willie" Culver).
For Bally Arcade/Astrocade with "AstroBASIC."
Video published September 21, 2013.

Flying Ace is for 1 to 4 players. Try to gun down the enemy before your time runs out. Get the "feel" of flying a fighter plane. At first everything seems backwards until you get the hang of it, then you'll become a Flying Ace. In this first person perspective game, the joystick controls your airplane flight. Pulling back on the handle makes you go up and the enemy goes down. Left makes you fly left but the enemy moves right. The trigger fires at enemy bi-plane.
  1. Flying Ace Instructions

Gate Escape, The.
By WaveMakers.
For the Bally Arcade/Astrocade with "AstroBASIC."
Video Overview created by BallyAlley.
Video published March 20, 2019.

You will be moving Little Novos using the joystick to guide him to collect the "x"s and avoid the villains.

Novos appears on the top of the screen, the villain is on the bottom to start. You can re-align the gates by running into them and blocking off entire sections of the screen to trap the bad guys out. You cannot go through the center of a gate, or move if the joystick is pointed at a wall or gate center.

The villain will try to make a jump to your sector of the screen by using his transporter. When it appears on the screen you have a limited amount of time before he makes the jump. The transporter homes in on the sound you make and if you don't steal it from the villain quick enough you'll be in serious trouble.

Goldfish Demo Thumbnail
Goldfish Demo.
By The Bit Fiddlers.
MPEG - 0:08 - 2.18MB.

The only sound, a "beep" noise, about six seconds into the video is supposed to be the cat meowing.


Hot Rod Bally BASIC Demonstration (Circa 1982).
Video created by Jay Fenton.
Video published to BallyAlley.com on July 7, 2006.

Hot Rod Bally BASIC is for use with a Bally Arcade/Astrocade equipped with expansion memory. In this video, Jay Fenton, the programmer of this expanded BASIC, the original Bally BASIC (1978), and "AstroBASIC" (1981), narrates an insider's look at Hot Rod Bally BASIC. He demonstrates eight, short expanded BASIC programs that make use of the extra features of the expanded BASIC, including extra colors that are available, different font sizes and newly added BASIC keywords.

Hot Rod Bally BASIC originally shipped on tape for use with the R&L Enterprises' 64K RAM Board. Vipersoft BASIC, also released on tape, is a slightly modified version of Hot Rod Bally BASIC that runs on a Viper RAM expansion. There was a version of this expanded BASIC released on cartridge called Blue Ram BASIC that was for use with the Blue Ram expansion unit.

A 3.4GB, 1080HD version of this Hot Rod Bally BASIC video can also be watched and/or downloaded from the Internet Archive:
  1. Hot Rod Bally BASIC, by Jay Fenton, Inc. (archive.org)
Note: When this video was originally added to BallyAlley.com on July 7, 2006, it was for download as a 161MB, 16:14 minute MPEG file. It was a low quality video (the version on YouTube is preferred), but for archive purposes, the low-res video is still available for download from BallyAlley.com here.

Click here for stills from this low-resolution video.


Meteoroids.
By L&M Software (Bill Loos & Greg Miller).
Tape 3, January 1982.
"Let's Play" Overview.
By Arcade USA (William "Willie" Culver).
For Bally Arcade/Astrocade with "AstroBASIC."
Video published September 29, 2013.

This game is similar to the Space Fortress cartridge, but it has two bases instead of one.
  1. Meteoroids Instructions

The Mummy's Treasure.
By L&M Software.
Game Overview.
Video filmed with Canon Powershot SX60 HS camera.
Video created by BallyAlley.
Video published June 20, 2017.

The Mummy's Treasure, by L&M Software, is a BASIC game released on tape for Bally BASIC in 1980 and on tape for "AstroBASIC" in 1981. The mummy is roaming about the castle's three floors looking for intruders. If you or any of your friends are caught in the same room with the mummy, that ends the game for that player, but for the rest of you the game will continue until all players have been captured or someone finds the treasure. Sound easy?? We shall see...

The treasure is somewhere in the dungeon, which is the bottom floor. To get there you must either find a secret passage to the cellar (which is the second floor), then find a secret passage from there to the dungeon. Or if you are lucky, you will find a secret passage which will take you from the main floor (first floor), straight to the dungeon. But if you aren't that lucky, you may find a room which has the capability to transport you one or two levels up. There are three levels, with 60 rooms on each level, a total of 180 rooms. The treasure, the secret passages, and the vacuum force rooms all change location with each new game.

The The Mummy's Treasure video can also be watched and/or downloaded from the Internet Archive:
  1. The Mummy's Treasure game overview, by Adam Trionfo (archive.org)

Nam-Cap, Version 5, "Multiplying Ghosts."
By New Image.
Tape 1500, 1982.
"Let's Play" Overview.
By Arcade USA (William "Willie" Culver).
For Bally Arcade/Astrocade with "AstroBASIC."
Video published September 27, 2013.

The little guy finally ate too many dots and ghosts! Now he's spitting them out! Six different versions of this wild game on this tape. Try to fill the maze with dots while avoiding the ghosts!


Nuke the #%@$*&!!.
By Jay Fenton.
Game Overview.
Video filmed with Canon Powershot SX60 HS camera.
Video created by BallyAlley.
Video published July 28, 2017.

This BASIC "game" is Nuke the #%@$*&!! by Jay Fenton. This was released in 1982 on a tape as the "B-Side" to the game Life. You are armed with a 5 megaton hydrogen bomb set for surface detonation. Pull the trigger to drop the bomb.

George Moses sold Jay's Life program. Advertisements for Life are included in the October and December Arcadian newsletter. Here is what the ad says about Life (and "Nuke"):

"Sure, you've seen Life games before. A BASIC program was published in a magazine a year or two ago. It took 5 or 10 minutes per generation! Well, how about one generation per second? Yup!!! Jay Fenton, the guy who wrote Bally BASIC, Gunfight, Scribbling, Calculator and GORF has revved-up you Z-80 processor to give you a full screen scan and a new LIFE generation each second! Put some LIFE in your Arcade (and give some spending money to Jay Fenton to keep him in "programming mode!"). Buy Life and get Nuke the !$&! free!"

The 12 pages of instructions for Nuke the #%@$*&!! and Life are available at BallyAlley.com. The twelve-page manual has ten pages devoted to Life, and just one page devoted to the "B-Side." The Life/Nuke @&#%$*!! manual can be downloaded here: The Nuke the #%@$*&!! video can also be watched and/or downloaded from the Internet Archive:
  1. Nuke the #%@$*&!! overview, by Adam Trionfo (archive.org)

O-Jello.
By Clyde Perkins (Perkins Engineering).
Game Overview.
Arcadian 2, no. 5 (March 24, 1980): 38,41.
Best of Arcadian, 1980 Tape.
Video filmed with Canon Powershot SX60 HS camera.
Video created by BallyAlley.
Video published January 31, 2017.

O-Jello is a BASIC game by Clyde Perkins for the Bally Arcade/Astrocade. The Bally BASIC version originally appeared in Arcadian 2, no. 5 (March 24, 1980): 38,41. The "AstroBASIC" version was released on the Best of Arcadian, 1980 tape. O-Jello is a home conversion of Othello, the reversi game. This video was recorded on January 26, 2017 using a Canon Powershot SX60 HS pointed at a Toshiba 14AF45 14" CRT TV.

From the Arcadian newsletter:

O-Jello by Clyde Perkins is a version of Othello. The object is to capture and retain as many spaces as possible using the rules of Othello. Your play is to capture as many of the opponent's pieces as possible - this converts them to your pieces (of course it works the other way, too). You do this by placing a piece (with the hand controller) joystick) in a spot adjacent to the opponent's, where his is now sandwiched between two you yours - press the trigger.

The instructions from Best of Arcadian, 1980 are slightly different:

"1 or 2 Players. The object is to capture and retain as many spaces as possible using the rules of Othello. You can capture a space if it is occupied by your opponent, and you can sandwich him between your existing spaces and the new one. Pull the Trigger to register the move. You will see the computer checking all possible moves when it is Up, in the 1 player mode."

O-Jello was covered in Bally Alley Astrocast, Episode 7 - Dog Patch and O-Jello (February 1, 2017):
  1. Bally Alley Astrocast, Episode 7
O-Jello Spoke Word Rules

These are the O-Jello rules that Clyde Perkins placed before and after the Bally BASIC. Also included in a summary of how the program works. Clyde sent this tape to Bob Fabris of the Arcadian newsletter (for printing the BASIC listing) and to Steve Wilson in Cleveland, Ohio (for review of the game). The rules credit Peter Maggs article in Byte for inspiration of the game. [Maggs, Peter B. Programming Strategies in the Game of Reversi, Byte, Nov. 1979, 66-79.]. O-Jello plays an excellent one-player game. Give it a try.

The O-Jello video can also be watched and/or downloaded from the Internet Archive:
  1. O-Jello, by Clyde Perkins (archive.org)

Sideswipe.
By Mike Peace.
For the Bally Arcade/Astrocade with BASIC.
Game Overview.
Video filmed with Canon Powershot SX60 HS camera.
Video created by BallyAlley.
Video published August 21, 2017.

Sideswipe is a straightforward "racing" game written in BASIC. I expect that nearly every "AstroBASIC" owner played Sideswipe in the 1980s, as it was reprinted in the "AstroBASIC" Owner's Manual.

Sideswipe is an early effort by Mike Peace, who wrote the WaveMakers games. Sideswipe was first published on page 69 of the October 1980 issue of the Astrocade newsletter, Cursor. Here are the directions for Sideswipe, as they were printed in Cursor:

"Your goal is to steer your car through and around the other vehicles on the road at the same time making sure you don't hit the sides of the road. Your car is the one with the broken boxes at the top of the screen. The road moves up toward you from the bottom of the screen as shown in the photograph. Mike as usual has done a very thorough job using very limited memory. This program uses some interesting sounds, and a unique method of movement. Use Hand Control Knob #1."

In 1981, Sideswipe was reprinted in the "AstroBASIC" owner's manual on page 89. Here are the directions for Sideswipe as they were printed in the "AstroBASIC" manual:

"The car appears on the top of the screen moving toward the bottom. Steer your car using knob (1) to avoid obstacles as they approach. Top score is 100 points. You lose 3 points for each sideswipe and 10 points for each collision."

Eventually in 1982, Sideswipe was included with three other programs on WaveMakers' tape 12 called Four Famous Freebies. Side one of the tape contains the main game, Castle of Horror. Side two contains Four Famous Freebies, which is made up of Sideswipe and Brick 'n the Wall, Invasion Force and Mazemaker.

Don't be turned off by this game's primitive graphics. In the mid-eighties I used to play a type-in game very similar to this (probably even more primitive!) in typing class on a TRS-80 Model III. I had fun with the alternate TRS-80 version of the game then, and playing a few games of Sideswipe made me realize, that in some strange way, this game holds up to this day. Maybe because it's SO simple, or maybe it's because the game doesn't take long to play, which gives it that "just one more go!" factor.

For someone who hasn't played any BASIC games before, it's probably hard to fathom how anyone, at ANY time, could have fun playing a game as simple as this one. The power of Sideswipe isn't that it's the BEST game on the Astrocade, but it could show beginning BASIC users just what was possible for them to create on their own. They didn't have to depend on buying game cartridges; they could make their own!

I happened to get my highest Sideswipe score while I played this game to create this review.

The Sideswipe video can also be watched and/or downloaded from the Internet Archive:
  1. Sideswipe, Game Overview by Adam Trionfo (archive.org)

Slot Machine.
By Ernie Sams.
Game Overview.
Arcadian 1, no. 8 (Jul. 20, 1979): 59.
Arcadian 1, no. 9 (Aug. 18, 1979): 69. (Correction).
Video filmed with Canon Powershot SX60 HS camera.
Video created by BallyAlley.
Video published October 26, 2016.

Slot Machine was written for Bally BASIC. It runs on the Bally Arcade/Astrocade, a game console/computer released in January 1978. The Arcadian has no comments or instructions for this program. This is an early time-period slot machine game for BASIC. There are certainly more slot machines games written for Bally BASIC and "AstroBASIC" than any other game genre (if there is such a thing as the "slot machine genre").

The Slot Machine video can also be watched and/or downloaded from the Internet Archive:
  1. Slot Machine, by Ernie Sams (archive.org)

Snake Snack.
By Ken Lill.
Game Overview.
For the Bally Arcade/Astrocade with Blue Ram BASIC.
Video filmed with Canon Powershot SX60 HS camera.
Video created by BallyAlley.
Video published August 3, 2017.

Snake Snack by Ken Lill was released in 1988 for the Bally Arcade. This program requires Blue RAM BASIC 1.1 and a RAM expansion unit. This version of the program was played from the Ultimulti cartridge, a multicart released by Ken Kill for the Astrocade.

As Ken describes Snake Snack, it is similar to Caterpillar, an "AstroBASIC" game by Kevin O'Neill that was printed in 1983 in the September 1983 issues of the Niagara BUG Bulletin newsletter. In Snake Snack, you have a maze that you must go through while chomping "bits." The more bits that you eat, the longer your snake becomes. It is possible to eat all of the bits in each maze without dying. You can die by either backing over yourself or crossing over yourself.

This game reminds me of the arcade Nibbler, although Ken says it isn't based on that game.

The Snake Snack video can also be watched and/or downloaded from the Internet Archive:
  1. Snake Snack overview, by Adam Trionfo (archive.org)

Space Gauntlet.
By Tiny Arcade (programmed by Tom McConnell).
Game Overview.
Tape 100 and Supertape 1. 1982
Video filmed with Canon Powershot SX60 HS camera.
Video created by BallyAlley.
Video published February 25, 2017.

Space Gauntlet was released in 1982 by Tiny Arcade on tape 100 and Supertape 1. It was programmed by Tom McConnell. Space Gauntlet is pretty simple, and it controls quite slowly. I'm not sure how much fun there is to be had here, but I'm putting this game forward for others to try because I like the idea of this game. Unfortunately, I don't think that BASIC has the power to do this game justice. Perhaps the "AstroBASIC" version of this game plays a little better (since "AstroBASIC" runs a little faster than Bally BASIC). It would be double-plus cool to see a machine language homebrew cartridge based on this idea.

You control a star cruiser patrolling a remote sector of the galaxy when you encounter the local inhabitants. These denizens of deep-space don't "cotton" to strangers and they arrange themselves into two columns, firing missiles and challenging you to fly between them and survive the deadly gauntlet. Your objective is to pilot the ship through the attackers, avoid their missiles (the small square objects) and score points by destroying as many of the hostiles as possible.

This video was created for the Astrocade High Score Club, Season 2, Round 1 (February 2017), which featured the cartridge game Solar Conqueror and the BASIC game Space Gauntlet. You can visit that round of the HSC, here: The video can also be watched and/or downloaded from the Internet Archive:

Super Slope.
By Esoterica Ltd (Dan J. Drescher and James P. Curran).
Game Overview.
1982.
Video filmed with Canon Powershot SX60 HS camera.
Video created by BallyAlley.
Video published June 21, 2017.

Super Slope, by Esoterica Ltd. This machine language game was released on tape in 1982.

In an Esoterica advertisement on page G7 of the spring 1983 Source Book, the game is called Ski Slope. The game's description from that ad says "'They called him SUPER SKIER, though he never had a lesson.' And now you take up where he left off. Super Slope is a super skiing program from Esoterica Ltd. No experience necessary."

The game's description from the December 1982 Arcadian is very similar. It says the same thing, but adds this: "Great fun! (In Smooth Action Machine Language Graphics)"

Michael White notes that the "AstroBASIC" cartridge is only needed to load the Super Slope program; the game will run with the "AstroBASIC" cartridge removed.

Michael Prosise wrote a review of Super Slope in The Game Player #9, which was printed in Arcadian 5, no. 9 (Jul. 22, 1983): 140. Here is the complete review:

It is no longer necessary to go to your neighborhood Video Arcade and drop a quarter in Atari's ALPINE SKI, for SUPER SLOPE is just as good. As the one and only skiing game for the Astrocade system, this Esoterica ski adventure is extremely good and well thought out.

In this one-player game, the player directs his skier downhill, avoiding pine trees and large rocks by using the joystick to ski left or right across the slope. A quick tap on the joystick increases the skiers' direction from straight to slightly angled: another tap increases the angle further; and another tap will have the skier doing a traverse. The same holds true for either direction. Squeezing the trigger will increase the skiers speed. As one who enjoys downhill skiing, I am impressed at how well Esoterica has simulated the actual movement of a real skier.

The graphics in SUPER SLOPE are well done, and the sound of skis on snow is well simulated. SUPER SLOPE is a good example of what machine language can do for a game.

There were only a few problems with SUPER SLOPE. The skier often leaves an arm or leg behind when he skims a tree, and we have not been able to determine how the scoring is accomplished. The instructions, which could use some improvement, indicate a score of 50 as not so good but less than 29 as a victory. However, the screen will show a four digit number at the end of play, such as 5471. We deliberately crashed our skier constantly and achieved a score of 2428. What do these numbers mean? (GAME PLAYER will publish an explanation if it receives one from Esoterica.)

The other problem we found is that there is a loud continuous raspy noise during initial play until the skier hits an object. Then the noise will disappear. Perhaps this is a problem with our particular cassette, or it may be a program problem.

Overall, SUPER SLOPE is an excellent game, and will probably be enjoyed even by non-skiers. Those who played it liked it, and it held their attention. It's a good game, folks."

Archive Notes: This video was uploaded to YouTube on June 21, 2017 and added to Archive.org in a 1080HD format for archival purposes.

The Super Slope video can also be watched and/or downloaded from the Internet Archive:
  1. Super Slope, game overview by Adam Trionfo (archive.org)

Q-B2B.
By WaveMakers.
Game Overview.
1984. Tape 20. (Unreleased)
Video filmed with Canon Powershot SX60 HS camera.
Video created by BallyAlley.
Video published October 25, 2016.

This video was created to compare two recordings of Astrocade games. The first recording was created using a MyGica HP Cap X capture device. This recording was created using my Canon Powershot SX60 HS. Neither device is an ideal way to capture footage from the Bally Arcade/Astrocade. In December 2017 I began using a Framemeister XRGB-Mini, which works very well to create High-Definition videos.

Q-B2B is a Q*Bert clone that was created by WaveMakers (Mike Peace) for the Bally Arcade/Astrocade. It was written for the 2000-baud version of Bally BASIC (commonly called "AstroBASIC"). Q-B2B, sometimes called QB-2B, was supposed to be released in 1984 on Tape 20 along with Tomb Pirates. Both of these games were unreleased. No documentation for Q-B2B exists (or, at least, has been archived). If you're familiar with Q*Bert, then you'll have no problems playing this BASIC game that was written to fit in the 1.8K of RAM available for BASIC.

The Q-B2B video can also be watched and/or downloaded from the Internet Archive:
  1. Q-B2B, by WaveMakers (archive.org)

Q-B2B.
By WaveMakers.
1984. Tape 20. (Unreleased)
Video Captured with MyGica HP Cap X.
Video created by BallyAlley.
Video published October 25, 2016.

Q-B2B is a Q*Bert clone that was created by WaveMakers (Mike Peace) for the Bally Arcade/Astrocade. It was written for the 2000-baud version of Bally BASIC (commonly called "AstroBASIC"). Q-B2B, sometimes called QB-2B, was supposed to be released in 1984 on Tape 20 along with Tomb Pirates. Both of these games were unreleased. No documentation for Q-B2B exists (or, at least, has been archived). If you're familiar with Q*Bert, then you'll have no problems playing this BASIC game that was written to fit in the 1.8K of RAM available for BASIC.

I only played one game (through the pass-through of the MyGica HP Cap X video capture device-- which isn't an ideal solution). I'm sure I can score better than my score of 123 points. This video was created for the Astrocade High Score Club, Season 1, Round 12, which featured the arcade game The Adventures of Robby Roto! and QB-2B.

You can visit that round of the HSC, here:

Astrocade High Score Club, Season 1, Round 12

This video capture doesn't do justice to the Astrocade, so I also recorded the game using my Canon Powershot SX60 HS. You can watch that in another video.

The Q-B2B video can also be watched and/or downloaded from the Internet Archive:
  1. Q-B2B, by WaveMakers (archive.org)
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