Your Spectrum
Issue 18, September 1985 - Opportunity Knocks - Bounzai
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For Eric Verland, opportunity has knocked. His game Bounzai leads us off on the YS search for six of the best. Now follow that!
Bounzai has edged out the opposition in our Opportunity Knocks compo - and you can see why! It's an amazing machine code version of the old Atari VCS game, Tanks. And before all the trainspotters get excited, yes, we know it exceeds the 5K limit but we reckon it's that good we'd be nuts not to publish it.
So, what have you got to do? Well, the idea is to fire a missile from your tank and bounce it off the walls. That way you can blast your opponent before the bullet runs out of steam.
You have the option of tackling the computer or taking on a human opponent. Your tank is controlled using either the joystick or four user-defined keys. You'll find that the main menu offers you three options - you can define the game variations, start a game or exit from it. If you choose to define the game, you'll be offered a further eight options:
  • You can pick whether to use the joystick or the keys.
  • You can decide on the number of bullets that can be fired at any one time - the default is one and the maximum is four.
  • The next option lets you direct the bullets as they travel or makes them bounce off the walls uncontrollably.
  • You can define how long the bullet will last on the screen.
  • Choose the number of lives you have.
  • Decide how many screens you want to play before starting a new game.
  • Choose which screen you want to start at.
  • The last option takes you back to the main menu.
This is just one of the seven different playing areas that Bounzai has to offer. Use the main menu to choose where you want to start and the number of screens you want to tackle. There are two basic strategies for the game - creeping or crossing fingers. You can sneak round corners until you have your opponent in your sights or you can stay where you are and blast off at random.
Here's one of the tanks. You can control yours using the right/left rotate, movement forward and, of course, fire. Again use the main menu to define the keys for these controls.
BOUNZAI screen
Finger on the button and fire up to four bullets at any one time and all, some or none of them can be controlled when fired. This game is really bullet-proof!
  The numbers at the bottom of the screen are the opposing players' scores. Just wait and see what happens when you've completed a whole screen. You've got two options when it comes to blasting out the bullets. Either you can leave them to follow the law of physics and bounce off the walls or you can control them in the same way as your tank.
So, if you're after rattling off a few bouncing bullets, get typing and get tanking!


Now for all you cloth-eared programmers, here's a quick recap on the YS compo of the year, Opportunity Knocks. We're looking for the very best programs and we don't mind if they're arcade or adventure games or utilities. Just so long as they show flair and are full of ideas. Take a look at Bounzai and see the standard we're after - but remember your program doesn't have to be in machine code 'cos in the end it's ideas not execution that counts. The only restriction we've imposed is that your program shouldn't be over 5K. So, what
about Bounzai you're asking. Well, OK we've blown it and it wouldn't really be fair to re-impose the limit, but remember - we have to fit your megaprogram into the mag so use 5K as a guideline. We aren't awarding prizes for length!
When all six programs have been published, that's when we sit back, put our feet up (So, what's new? Ed) and let all the YS readers take over. You'll all have the chance to vote for the program you reckon tops the lot and the programmer most likely to make it. All the programs printed will be paid for handsomely and the overall winner will be offered the chance to talk to a number of top software houses about tapping all that talent.
And now for the most important news of all - since Bounzai, there are only five places left in Opportunity Knocks. If you don't hurry this great opportunity will have passed you by - so get cracking!
This program is available on ZIPi'T'ape
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