The Electron Gamesmaster (Granada) Review | A&B Computing - Everygamegoing

A&B Computing

The Electron Gamesmaster
By Granada
Acorn Electron

Published in A&B Computing 2.06

The Electron Gamesmaster

This book is rather different from the vast majority of computer books which I have reviewed in the past. Most set out to instruct, perhaps in those areas where the official manual is a little lacking, in which case the programs included tend to be rather poor in quality and imagination. Others are full of vast listings, with little or no attempt to instruct, save from the odd REM statement.

This book, however, has an unusual and effective approach - the authors selected some rather good programs and then used them to show how a program with a sound modular structure can be built up. Each listing is separated into its various modules, each of which is then thoroughly and clearly explained. The authors suggest that this approach could be extended to typing in one module at a time, and this would seem very sensible.

The listings themselves are printer-dumped, and I found them to be error-free. For those with superior typing skill, there is a full listing given at the conclusion of each chapter, which will doubtless suit many. However, part of the value of this book would thus be lost, although even so there remain six good quality listings, far superior to many that find themselves in the pages of similar books. But, the strength of the book is in its approach, and in the detailed notes accompanying the programs.

One slight criticism which I would level is that BBC Basic allows useful procedure and variable names and, although the former are well used, there are too many single-letter variables, which I found disappointing. However, the range of programs chosen, their comparative complexity and yet simplicity by virtue of the explanations, will make this book an interesting alternative for Electron owners. I found it quite fascinating to read.

John Donovan