Blok Copy (A8)

Blok Copy on the Atari 8-bit is an action puzzle game that I originally wrote for the Atari 2600 but bodged the code so badly that it crashes real consoles – one of these days that’ll need sorting out – before porting the game logic to the Commodore PET and onwards to other platforms. And now there’s a new version in town, during the Christmas period the source code was pulled apart and introduced to the Atari 8-bit before some demo-like vertical colour splits were added to make it look pretty and Andy Vaisey produced a lovely rendition of the Sean Connolly tune Sporting Chance which has been the Blok Copy soundtrack since the C64DTV2 version. This new iteration was released as part of the New Years Disk 2018

The gameplay is simple enough, the playfield has five rows of seven tiles which are randomly mixed up at the start of a level and the player has to shift them around until the first column is all 1 tiles, the second has all 2 tiles and so on. A joystick in port 1 controls the on-screen cursor and holding fire whilst moving up or down will shuffle the current column accordingly with left or right moving the current row. The time limit might seem generous on the first level where only three computer-controlled moves take place, but won’t feel so as the game progresses.

The Atari 8-bit code and graphics were ported from the C64 version, but before that happened I wanted to make some tweaks; the source has been “sanitised” to make it more readable, the in-game graphics reworked so that it’s easier to tell the tiles apart – people complained about that with the previous version – and a couple of bugs squidged which were introduced when reworking the PET code. That means there’s a new version for the C64 too, so welcome to Blok Copy RX which was also released today!

Happy new year and all that gubbins… there’ll be a second post along in the near future for the other release from today!

4 thoughts on “Blok Copy (A8)

  1. Almost nobody has, mainly because it was sent to Widdy for testing and it made his Supercharger crash rather spectacularly! I’m reasonably sure of what went wrong but fixing it is a fairly substantial rewrite and I haven’t decided if it’s worth that effort considering how “meh” it is by 2600 standards these days.

  2. Well, it may be ‘meh’ as you describe it, but getting anything out of the 2600 is an achievement, no?

  3. To a degree yes, it’s a bit like writing cycle-accurate demo code without any RAM whilst trying to build a playable game around the results.

    Blok Copy on the 2600 is as playable as the other versions (it’s the same game logic) but the engine around it needs a complete from the ground up rewrite in part because i tried to be “clever” with the hardware sprite handling and didn’t get away with it.

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