PlayPico

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Apple ][ Bomber

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By dw817 Published on Sep 12th, 2018 Last updated on Oct 18th, 2018

Back in the early days of Apple ][, Robert C. Clardy and Bill Budge ruled the roost.

Robert C. Clardy for his fantastic INTEGER HIRES and LORES adventure games and Bill Budge for his incredible machine-language games which included, Bomber, as you see the tribute here, but also, Space War, Night Driver, Raster Blaster Pinball, Lunar Lander, and Pinball Construction Set.

He was one of the great pioneers of early video game programmers working directly in the 6502 assembly programming language whereas most other game programmers, myself included, chose to work in the simpler languages of Integer Basic and Applesoft Basic.

Perhaps the one game that struck me the most fascinating as a boy was his 20k machine-language BOMBER game. It was a simple premise. You had one key to press that launched a bomb from your plane that moves from one side of the screen to the next.

What I especially liked was the fact if you watched carefully, and I did, that every single pixel that made up the tank image exploded outward when your bomb contacted the tank. It was a real treat to see as many games back then only dreamed of having fragmentary explosions.

The tank initially started out as half that speed so it was a pretty easy target for the jet. After that, the tank changed speeds which made the game more challenging. That and the tricky curve of the bomb as it starts out slow in its descent and accelerates as it falls.

Here now is my tribute to him and his game, the graphics, mechanics, mathematics, and hopefully physics are very close to what he wrote those many years ago.

With options in the source to change from B&W to color and even add flickering of the sprites which is what his original game had in it.

How many tanks can you hit before the time runs out ?