The Undisked Part I: July 1983 - November 1983

This blog has certainly stood on the shoulders of giants, the people who did the actual gruntwork of scanning in these magazines and grabbing the .d64 images. But the magazine existed for almost a year before they got the idea of selling the disk with all the programs on. That means there's 10 months of undisked programs. I'm way too lazy to type these in-- frankly the effort/reward ratio, especially of the early games, seems a little low, and also these listings are a mess, super hard to read accurately. (It turns out you could skip many space characters in BASIC listings, and many did that to save the disk space and memory... between that and figuring out the special characters on this keyboard, it seems kind of hopeless.)

But, I thought I'd placate my inner completist by going over the games I missed, listing what they looked like and who made them.

All games for VIC-20 and C64 unless otherwise noted.

July 1983

Advertisement of the moment: I've always liked this robocat from a Synapse ad, in the premier issue:
(Also in the premier issue: "Does Your Computer NEED a Cassette Recorder?")

Skydiver - Alan Crossley

Looks like Atari's Skydiver - fall and maneuver into a landing pad.

Snake Escape - Daryl Biberdorf

Racing a timer, find a path to the exit. 

VIC Timepiece - Joseph D. Wright

Not a game per se, but can I tell you I love the idea of this? I was kind of fascinated by those ball bearing clocks as a kid, and am often tempted to make up this kind of virtual timepiece. This month it was just for VIC-20 but a (less attractive, as is par) C64 port shows up in November.

August 1983

The Viper - Dave and Casey Gardner

I wonder if Snake/Surround "snake roams through halls eating and getting longer and avoiding itself and walls" was a cliche then, or just later. Looks like some thoughtful level design by the father/son author team though.

The accompanying article mentions that because of the extra graphics etc, sometimes the C-64 games would run slower-- looking it up, I realize the VIC-20 and C-64 have about the same clock speed, which went against my assumptions of newer system = faster computer.  (Still the VIC-20 tended to have so much less RAM, and of course no sprites)

Cylon Zap - Mark Dudley

Not so original, press the joystick N/S/E/W to shoot your laser at incoming Cylons, or button to fire one of three smartbombs.

September 1983

Boxart of the Month for September 1983:
Anyway... on to the games you actually got:

Demon Star - Stan McDaniel

Pretty looking flying around character-based game (I don't think we've seen any games use the C64's sprites, these are generally all VIC-20 ports) Oddly the caption tries to claim that it's the C64 screenshot...

Potholes - Joe W. Rocke

You drive around filling the potholes the computer car makes... contact with the latter is deadly. The C64 port laughably squishes to the left half of the screen only.

Jim Connelley, Programmer

October 1983

Oil Tycoon - Gordon F. Wheat

Non-real-time oil drilling game.

Re-Beep - Robert L. Lykins

A "Simon"-type game, keep playing back an ever-growing audio/visual sequence.

Mark Blank, Programmer

November 1983

Box Art of the Month for November 1983
Whoa.. also for sale this issue, "Tax Pack"- a VIC-20 program for doing Canadian Taxes... interesting.

Chicken Little - Jeff Wolverton

The "Sky" is falling. You have to throw rocks at it (?) to send it back (??)

Martian Prisoner - Alan Poole

A text adventure! The article teases they might publish a map and solution in future issues if there was demand for it. I wonder how much you would figure it out if you typed it in...

Ooh... there's an article about doing special characters, I like these two close-up screenshots:

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