Each month Sinclair User aims to introduce new products
THIS GAME is in full 3D and presents you with an ever-changing view of a corridor along which you must travel to get out of the maze. Written in machine code, it gives a quick reaction to the input of a direction and gives help if you are lost.
The maze changes with every new game and an overall view of it is given for a short time before asking for the input of the first move. The maze size can be selected beforehand to give varying levels of difficulty.
The program costs £5.95 and will fit in 14K, so the 16K pack will be required to use it. Axis, Leics markets the program.
A NEW language designed to replace Basic for writing programs. It is designed to simplify the writing of word games, multiple-choice tests and quizzes. It is also recommended for writing computer-aided learning packages for schools and colleges. The original Mickie was developed by the late Dr Christopher Evans at the National Physical Laboratory and the NPL still considers it important enough to reserve it as a trademark.
The Mickie language also has single-key commands and is written in machine code for a fast response. A manual of examples is provided with the language. The cost is £15 approximately for manual, machine code language tape, and examples tape.
Mickie for the ZX-81 can be obtained from Abies Informatics, London.
ALL THE programs on the two cassettes will run on the basic 1K ZX-81 without the need for extra memory. The first tape costs only £4 and contains four games - Laser Blast, Alien Crawler, Ghost Hunt and Torpedo.
It also contains four programs to help your finances balance. Bank Budget will keep a running bank statement for you on your regular payments and check your ZX-81 against the bank's IBM statement for any computer errors. Budget will tell you how much you are worth after you deduct your regular payments. Can you afford that new car? Car Log is two programs, one for the dreaded metric litres and one for imperial gallons.
If you want only the finance programs, pay £2.50 for cassette number two. A copy of either tape is available from Zedex, Kent.
BRAND NEW on the market is ZX-81 Monopoly. Up to six players can compete and the ZX-81 functions as board, rule book, umpire, dice-thrower, accountant and rent collector. Players are guided through the game by a menu indicating who goes with an update on assets.
As the game is likely to become a marathon a SAVE routine is included. To save a game the QUIT option is used as an interrupt and is followed by a winner so far report. The game can then be saved on tape for future use.
Monopoly costs £8 including VAT and postage and is available from Work Force, Beds.
A MODERN, up-to-date game with four divisions, promotion and relegation struggles and several levels of play. After selecting your team and transferring the players you do not like or cannot afford, see what your game results are. You can play as many seasons as you like, but watch for those injuries.
You can save any game on to cassette and continue when you next have spare time. A managerial rating will tell you how good or bad you are. The program obviously requires 16K of RAM and is available for both the ZX-80 and the ZX-81. The ZX-80, however, must be equipped with an 8K ROM.
The cost is £9.95 from Addictive Games, Milton Keynes.
THIS PROGRAM is for the programmer who spends most of his time re-inventing the wheel in his programs. It provides routines which can be included in most programs and routines which will save the programmer work. The list includes a RENUMBER which will also change GO TOs and GO SUBs, LOADing SAVEing and RUNning machine code, INSPECT-COPY and alter - when COPYd into RAM - ZX-81 ROM routines, REPLACE all lines of Basic in a given program with another.
The cost of the toolkit is £6.50. The author has also written a book on hints and tips for the ZX-81 which has been much praised; it includes more routines for data files.
The book and the toolkit can be obtained from Hewson Consultants, Oxon.
A FASCINATING new language, christened Window Language by its author, is for writing large display programs for shop windows, the like of which has never been seen previously. The screen can be divided into sections, which can be scrolled independently up or to the right, in large or small characters. It can also reverse video any chosen window without affecting the rest of the message. The rolling, changing display can be long, as it requires the 16K RAM pack to run it.
The program is obtainable from Campbell Systems, Essex, for £7 but overseas orders should include sufficient for an air mail package.
THIS FIRM provides some of the cheapest software listing available, ranging from 55-70 pence. They are all 1K games and include Alien Chase and Navarone - shooting games. Phototon fire scores hits as space ships cross your star field view of the universe. Fireman's Rescue is a game in which you bounce people from a fire into a waiting ambulance. Asteroid Belt means that you must avoid the rocks hurtling at you to survive. There are also some 16K pack games available on cassette from £2 to £4.
Heltaskelta Software is at London SE4.
THE PROGRAM allows you to write machine code, SAVE and LOAD it at double speed. It provides breakpoints in your routines, so that you can find the results so far as a check as to why your program crashes. The monitor takes up 3½K of space on a 16K RAM pack. The 32-page manual with the cassette will show you how to ENTER, RUN and DEBUG your machine code routines independent of Basic.
The Screen Kit 1 by the same firm allows you to create and load data files from cassette from within a program. That can be very useful as it can swap the Basic variables for the same program. A new SCROLL is included which will move the screen, up, down, right or left.
The ZX-MC with manual costs £6.50 and the Screen Kit 1 £4.95.
Both cassettes are available from Picturesque, Kent.
SIMPLIFIES the drawing of program layouts for games or teaching programs. It is menu-driven, which means that you have a multiple-choice question to answer for the things you want to do. The characters are inserted on the screen by moving a cursor to the place on the screen where you want the graphic and pressing key 9.
That then draws a line which will follow the cursor until key 0 is pressed. That puts the cursor back into the rubout mode.
Text and graphics can be inserted anywhere on the screen and up to 12 screens full can be stored in one 16K RAM pack.
The entire program, including all the screens, can be saved on cassette for running later. The cost is £6.95 for the cassette and manual, £8.95 for boxed de-luxe sets.
Video Sketch is available from Video Software, W. Midlands.
GAMEL is not an adventure program but a program which allows you to write your adventure programs. The game is on cassette with an instruction book explaining how you can write programs in hours rather than weeks. The ZX-81 can now be programmed to find a gold treasure within a pyramid, avoiding the long-lost ghosts of his servants and the built-in traps which you have devised. Or, if you fancy discovering minerals on an alien planet infested with monsters and rivals, for rubium, obniberite or titanium, the choice is yours.
Gamel 81 is available from Control Technology, Cheshire.
ENTIRELY in machine code and providing a very fast game if you can survive. The background moves from right to left, giving the impression of movement over varying terrain. The object of the flight of your defender spaceship is to destroy the invaders from the right. They can fire at you, drop bombs on you or crash into you. All you have to defend yourself is your laser cannon, manoeuvrability up and down and the speed at which you attack the enemy.
Adjustments can be made to the program if your television set cannot keep up with such a fast game as is included in the instructions. If you have bought a sound board from the same company, you can enjoy all rushes of the wind, explosions and crashes, as they are already included in the program.
Defender is available from Quicksilva, Southampton.
AVAILABLE in two versions. The original, with levels 1-6 which uses standard notation for moves, presents illegal move if any other is entered and allows you to play black or white. The full screen is used and the machine code games give a very fast response.
ZXchess II has seven levels, one of which, Lightning chess, will respond faster in end moves and opening book moves. The game, however, can recommend your best move and recognise stalemate.
Both games will allow you to set up your own board pieces and start from there, thus allowing you to solve newspaper problems without waiting a week for the results. ZXchess II also allows you to copy the board on to a Sinclair printer or to store a game on to cassette.
Artic Computing, author of ZXchess, can be reached at Hull. ZXchess is £8 and ZXchess II £14.
All prices in this review have been rounded-up to include VAT and postage where possible.