BC Basic (BC Computers) Review | Home Computing Weekly - Everygamegoing

Home Computing Weekly

BC Basic
By BC Computers
Commodore 64

Published in Home Computing Weekly #30

BC BASIC is a cassette-based Basic extension with extra commands for hi-res, sound, sprites and various other elements.

To use BC BASIC you must first load it into memory - which takes about five minuets. You are now ready to go.

The hi-res/screen commands are not very advanced; they do nothing more complicated than draw lines and plot points. Compared with Simon's Basic this is not a lot. Simon's can fill complicated areas, draw circles, plot gradients, etc.

The sound commands make your programs more readable. They do away with lists of POKEs and allow a wide range of control over the SID chip. Unlike Simon's Basic they do not allow music composing.

Sprite commands allow you to define sprites and characters. There is a long list of sprite setting commands. I found these quite pointless - they do nothing a POKE or two to the Vic chip cannot do.

Finally, the structured programming commands include features such as IF...THEN...ELSE, REPEAT...UNTIL. There are also commands to read the joysticks, paddles, user-port and keyboard.

To sum up, I found well over half have a single PEEK/POKE equivalent. This more or less rendered most pointless to me. Simon's Basic offers an extensive range of extremely useful and powerful commands.

Graphics and sound sections of the manual explain some related instructions, for the rest you must hunt through the glossary. It would have been better organised into subject sections, as Commodore has done with Simon's Basic.

At £20, it is a few pounds overpriced. It is, however, a fairly cheap way of getting hi-res and sound commands. The package is well below the standard of Simon's Basic, but if your budget only runs to about £20 then this is available and it does seem to work well. You only get what you pay for.