Paul Brett with the latest gaming news.
It's been an interesting couple of months on the RISC OS gaming front. APDL have continued their policy of releasing the 4th Dimension back catalogue on themed CDs. With the latest release almost the entire back catalogue is now available in a form that runs correctly on modern 26bit machines. It would be very good to see some of the best games converted to 32bit, however I do understand the commercial realities of the situation, but we can live in hope. In the meantime most of the 4th Dimension games can be played on the Iyonix with Aemulor. It will be interesting to see how they fare on the A9 once it gets a full release with a working sound system.
So, having looked at commercial games, lets see what freeware and shareware games have been released recently.
Bubble Train - Alan Buckley
This is a fun arcade puzzle game, different to Puzzle Bubble, yet similar in some ways. In the game you control a cannon at the bottom of the screen and have to fire bubbles at a "train" of bubbles going along a track above you. The aim is to clear all the bubbles. You do this by firing your bubbles up the screen to make a chain of three bubbles, or more, of the same colour.
You can see from the screen shot above that I am firing the blue bubble from my cannon, aimed to hit the two existing blue bubbles on the track. The game comes with a large number of different levels and you can also set the difficulty level.
The game To run requires The Shared Unix Library. This is provided in an archive in the Toolbox directory in the Software directory of this issue. Also required is Digital Renderer module 0.51, this is available in the PD directory.
The game runs on the Iyonix and on RISC OS 4.xx machines with a StrongArm processor. It also runs on VirtualRPC.
SuperDoku - Hillary Phillips
For puzzle fanatics, Sine Nomine Software are pleased to announce the release of yet another Sudoku program for RISC OS - SuperDoku. The demo version is in the games directory. SuperDoku is a comprehensive Sudoku program, generating and solving puzzles of four different sizes, three different difficulty levels, and two different arrangements depending on whether or not you prefer your puzzles to have rotational symmetry. You can type in your own puzzles or just let SuperDoku create them for you. SuperDoku will give hints on what values are possible for an empty square, and what squares you need to look at in order to find a square to fill. If you get stuck you can save a puzzle to try again another day. Or you can export puzzles as Draw files to print out and do on paper.
If you've no brainpower left at all, then let SuperDoku's solve tool finish the puzzle in an instant.
The demo version has all the above features but will create only ten different puzzles of each size. You can solve these as many times as you like, and you can try them at different difficulty settings too - giving you effectively 220 different puzzles for free. You may type in as many puzzles as you like into blank grids, but the demo version will only allow you to use SuperDoku's solve tool ten times on this type of puzzle.
It costs just 5 pounds to register for the full version of SuperDoku, which allows you to create and solve unlimited numbers of puzzles.
As well as producing Bubble Train, Alan Buckley has ported Primate Plunge to RISC OS. I haven't included it this time as try as I might I simply can't get the .zip file to open. If anyone has a copy that's working could they email it to the editor and I will include it next issue. See you.