Atari 130 XE Games Book (Melbourne House) Review | Computer Gamer - Everygamegoing

Computer Gamer

Atari 130 XE Games Book
By Melbourne House
Atari 130XE

Published in Computer Gamer #11

Atari 130 XE Games Book

It's nice to see a book for a micro other than the eternal Spectrum/Amstrad/BBC collection, so I first looked at this book feeling quite positive about it.

It follows the usual pattern of a collection of games listings for typing in, together with instructions and hints and tips. There are thirty games here, which should be enough to keep even the most keyboard enthusiast busy for as long as he or she has got feeling left in their fingertips.

Originality is not one of the strengths of this book: we've all seen a million and one versions of Othello, Battleship, OXO, 2D maze and so on before. However, as there are not many books around for this machine (in fact, this is the first I've seen), I don't suppose it will matter too much to anyone.

Screen shots are included, which I always find are a great guide to what sort of effect you are actually aiming for, and also some programming suggestions. Actually, these seem more like an afterthought, because they are not really much practical help and are the sort of thing your mother might come out with looking over your shoulder, like 'Make the maze bigger', 'Make it bigger' and 'Put music with the introduction page'.

The print is not as clear as it should be, either in the main text or the listings, in fact the text looks strangely as if it has been bashed out on someone's typewriter and then photographed. Not very high tech...

With the last Melbourne House book I reviewed I raved about the checksum tables which they included with each program so that you could check the accuracy of your keying in before you tried to run the game. They have used the same idea here and I must say I think it will be a great help to readers as it's almost impossible to key in a program several pages long and get it absolutely right first time.

Each game is classified, which is quite useful. So if you feel like an arcade game you flick through the pages and pick out one of those labelled so. There is quite a good range of different types: evasion, strategy, skill, logic and so on.

I have to admit I was rather surprised to find so many spelling mistakes. Finding any at all is bad enough, but the book is littered with them from the first page onwards... "If your ship touches the mountains..." Ouch!

This is quite a good book to start with, and as the choice for owners of this machine is not exactly wide it will probably be quite useful. There are lots of good old classics here, with enough help and advice to make the hard work a bit easier. I'd recommend it.