Solitaire game that's simple to play, but tough to winBy Allen Miller
Match suits and numbers in this unusual game of solitaire. The rules are simple, but you'll find that winning is a challenge. This BASIC program will run on any 8-bit Atari with at least 48K and a disk drive.
Last fall a friend showed me a public domain game on a PC-compatible. He was fascinated by it, and wondered if it was available for his Commodore. I didn't know about the Commodore, but decided to try duplicating the game on my Atari. Thus, Collapsing Deck for the 8-bit Atari was born. I wrote the game in Atari BASIC - and gave my friend a copy to translate into Commodore BASIC.
This solitaire game is played with a standard 52-card deck. The object is to spread out a deck of 52 cards and then reduce the spread to one stack. When you find cards with matching suits or face values either next to each other or three places apart, you move the back card on top of its match. It's not easy - I've only succeeded once. Fortunately, the rules are simple, and the program keeps a menu on-screen to help you remember the moves.
Type in COLLDECK.BAS, Listing 1, check it with TYPO II and SAVE a copy to disk before you RUN the game.
The computer first shuffles the cards, exposes two cards, and places the cursor under the last card. You then choose from the Command Menu at the bottom of the screen:
1 BACK ONE - Match the card above the cursor with the one to the left.
3 BACK THREE - Match the card above the cursor with the third card to the left.
N NEXT CARD - Expose the next card from the deck.
A ALL CARDS - Expose all cards from the deck.
E END GAME - Stop play and show score.
L LAST CARD - Move cursor to the last card exposed.
< MOVE LEFT - Move cursor one space left.
> MOVE RIGHT - Move cursor one space right.
In addition, the display shows you the number of cards left unexposed in the deck.
Once you've gotten the deck collapsed down as far as you think it will go, press [E] to end the game and see your score. If you have a play left, the program tells you to check your cards and returns you to the game. If there are no more plays, the computer will tell you how you did, and offer to play again.
Listing: COLLDECK.BAS Download
An "eight-bitter" since 1983, Allen Miller is over forty and a manager in a maintenance department for an industrial plant near Cincinnati. He has an MBA and a BS in Physics (which he earned B.C. - "Before Calculators").