As the years passed, I never had access to the programs that Eric, my brother, and I typed into the Apple II. They are locked on disks that Eric still owns, 1000’s of miles away. However I do recall one of the very first (if not the first) real “games” we wrote together. It was a “Guess The Number” game. After building elaborate ASCII rockets with “PRINT” commands for days, Eric’s dad (A computer engineer at Hughes Aircraft) taught us about about “IF-THEN” and “GOTO” statements and then we went to town.
Because I have not seen the game in 35 years, I rewrote it using the emulator. My favorite discovery was the “FLASH” command. I had forgotten about it, but when I saw it in the reference guide, it sent me back decades. It was a magical command to me when I was 9 years old. It seemed like, with “FLASH”, I could create a real “reward” for winning the game. Finding the roots of my love for computers, programming, and making games does not take an extensive search. It’s pretty much right here in these 20-odd lines of code.
10 HOME 20 INVERSE 30 PRINT "NUMBER GUESS" 40 NORMAL 50 MAGICNUMBER% = INT(RND(1)*100)+1 60 LET TURNS% = 0 70 PRINT "I'M THINKING OF A NUMBER (1-100)" 80 INPUT "GUESS:" ; NUMBER% 90 TURNS% = TURNS% + 1 100 IF NUMBER% == MAGICNUMBER% THEN GOTO 170 110 IF NUMBER% > MAGICNUMBER% THEN GOTO 130 120 IF NUMBER% < MAGICNUMBER% THEN GOTO 150 130 PRINT "<<LOWER" 140 GOTO 80 150 PRINT "HIGHER>>" 160 GOTO 80 170 FLASH 180 PRINT "YOU WIN!" 190 NORMAL 200 PRINT "YOU DID IT IN " ; TURNS% ; " TURNS" 210 PRINT "HIT KEY TO PLAY AGAIN" 220 GET K$ 230 GOTO 10