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REVIEWS: Games

"... OH YES, SOME GAMES PLEASE!"

A waste of time, maybe, but games are one of the most requested items from our User Questionnaire. Here's a listing of the games we've found so far.

By Richard Hall

We sent questionnaires to many of you who inquired about The HP Palmtop Paper last summer, in an attempt to find out what you wanted to see in the newsletter. Many of the returned questionnaires requested information on games for the HP 95LX. Why the interest in such an "unproductive" use of the 95LX? Maybe you have a few spare minutes waiting for a plane. Maybe you're tired of crunching numbers in Lotus. Maybe you just want to have a little excitement, challenge, and fun! Whatever the reason, your HP 95LX can become your "Gameboy" with some of the programs described below.

You'll find two different types of games available: logic games and arcade games. Logic games include checkers, chess, games of deduction and memory like Concentration and Hearts & Bones, and adventure games where you try to find the treasure or rescue the beautiful princess (or handsome prince). These games test your intelligence, and pit you against the computer.

Arcade games are fast-action games where you match your dexterity, intelligence, and skill against the computer's. These are the kind of games made popular by Atari and Nintendo; games like PacMan, Mario Brothers, Space Invaders, etc. Some are life-threatening shooting matches (like Space Invaders) and some are a little more refined intellectual challenges (like Tetris). But whichever one you choose, arcade games tend to elevate your metabolism a little more than logic games.

Below is a list of the games we've discovered so far. If you know of any others, please let us know.

HEARTS & BONES, TIGERFOX

These two System-Manager-compliant games come built into the English language version of the 95LX. To install these, see sidebar.

THE DIVERSIONS DISK *

This shareware collection of games, puzzles, and Lotus graphs, is from Ed Keefe, contributing editor to The HP Palmtop Paper.

Registered users receive the latest version of the programs, a 162 page Users Guide, and free updates for 1 year. Registered versions of the games are System Manager executable. You can configure them to pop up on top of built-in applications using a menu system provided by Ed (this issue).

All of Ed's games use "Line Draw" characters for graphics. Because of this they don't consume as much battery when operating as other graphics intensive games.

Checkers

CHKRS.EXE (9.2K): The classic board game. Enter the coordinates of your move and off you go.

Checkers Screen Graphic

Concentration

CONCEN.EXE (6.9K): The memory exercise game where you try and match pairs in a field of 52 face- down playing cards.

Fastermind

FMD95.EXE (7.7K): "An exercise in deductive logic." The 95LX generates a hidden code of up to 10 numbers and you try to break this code by guessing numbers in a sequence.

FastPoet

POET.EXE, FASTPOET.DTA (6.6K total): A program that generates lines of poetry: "while air shifted, sullen, heavy grasses glistening; always the clock and pen..."

Fox `N' Hounds

FOX95.EXE (6.2K): Try to get your three hounds to box in the fox in less than 20 moves.

Go-Moku

GO95.EXE (5.8K): Also known as "Five In a Row," GoMoku is a classic board game (like Tic-Tac-Toe).

Go-Moku Screen Graphic
 
 

Mini Adventure

MINIADV.EXE (11.4K): A text-based adventure game where you decide which way to go, reap the rewards, or suffer the consequences!

Petals Around the Rose

PTLS95.EXE (6.3K): The computer "rolls" five dice, you look at them and guess the number of petals around the rose. After seven correct responses you prove you know how to solve the puzzle and are admitted into the "Order of the Roses."

Poker

PKR95.EXE (11K): A simple version of Five Card Draw (like a Las Vegas slot machine). See chart for a free system-compliant version from another author.

Poker Solitaire

PKSL95.EXE (9K): Lay out your cards in any position on a 5 x 5 grid until 25 cards are "dealt" and get the best hand in each column/row.

Poker Solitaire Graphic
 
 

Reversi

RVR95.EXE (8.7K): Classic board game similar to the one marketed under the trade name "Othello."

Reversi Screen Graphic
 
 

Outflanking game played on an 8-by-8 grid board. As you flank, or cut off a row of the opponents pieces, they become your pieces.

REVREV95.EXE: (10.6K) a meaner version of Reversi.

Tetris

TETLIX.EXE (11,252): A simple version of the popular game Tetris. The object is to slip odd shaped, falling pieces into empty places in the row below. Fill in a row, it disappears and you get more points and more room to maneuver. (Chart at end of article lists free version with better graphics.)

HPTRIS Screen Graphic
 
 

Unscramble

UNSC.EXE (7,257): Restore the scrambled characters to their original order (A, B, C, ... etc.) in as few moves as possible.

Ye Olde Toggle Block Game

YOBG.EXE (7,304): Patterned after Merlin, one of the earliest handheld computer games. You are presented with a 3-by-3 grid with some of the squares occupied by dark blocks. The object is to turn off all darkened blocks by inverting small groups of them.

CHESS/SPACE INVADERS

Two shareware games with good graphics. Look for AG.ZIP in the HP 95LX library of the HPSYS forum on CompuServe. Register your copy, and get System-Manager-compliant versions with improvements in graphics and features.

Chess

CHESS.EXE (5,731): A fast chess program with nice graphics and an excellent user interface. Move your pieces with the Arrow and Enter keys, not by entering coordinates.

Chess screen graphic

 There are five levels of difficulty, from novice to experienced. On level 1 you can expect moves to be made in less than 10 seconds, level 2 in less than a minute. You will probably be able to beat level 1 if you don't make any mistakes and play a decent game of chess. Level 2 plays a good fast game.

Space Invaders

INVADERS.EXE (4,595): This is a clone of the classic arcade demon. Rows of bat-like space invaders descend upon you, level-by-level, from the top of the screen. Use your Right- and Left-Arrow keys to position your blaster below them, and dodge the bombs they drop.

There's a tendency to get excited and punch down on the 95LX's keys pretty hard, but the keyboard seems to be able to take it.

GAME COLLECTION

These freeware are available in the HP 95LX library of HPSYS on CompuServe. All were written in Turbo v 2.0, come with source code, and fit on C: with room to spare.

Go-Moku

GO.EXE (11,835): A simpler version of the popular tic-tack-toe-type game described in the Keefe Game Collection above. This one is adapted from Borland Game Toolkit.

Mine Field

MINES.EXE (10,667) Mine field game: Hit a mine, you're history.

Mine field screen graphic

 You are told how many mines are in squares adjacent to yours.

Sub Hunt

SUBS.EXE (10,571): You're a destroyer moving around the board. Press <ENTER> or <Space Bar> to drop a mine. If you're on top of a submarine, you sink it. The computer tells you the distance to each sub whenever you drop a mine.

Blackjack for the 95LX

A System-Manager-compliant Blackjack game with graphically displayed hands, for one or two players. Computer automatically shuffles deck, deals, and tracks wagers. Activate an automatic card counting system, and "re-seed" the deck. The program is available in the HP 95LX section of the HPSYS forum on CompuServe.

A Note On Battery Life

Graphics-intensive games like TigerFox, Space Invaders, and the French version of Tetris (HPTRIX.EXE) consume quite a bit of energy and shorten the life of the HP 95LX batteries. The Keefe Game Collection puts everything in line-draw mode (including Tetris). This saves battery life.

Before playing TETRIS, or doing almost anything else in the FILER (or in DOS) you should first turn off the serial port. You can do this with the SERCTL command.

For instance, you could start Tetris with the following batch file:

serctl /o

c:\hptris

This would turn off the serial port and then start Tetris, assuming HPTRIS.EXE was on the C: drive.

INSTALLING TIGERFOX / HEARTS & BONES INTO SYSTEM MANAGER

iPhone Life magazine


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