29 June 2013

Cobra: a Dragon 32 game from my past

About thirty years ago, my dad and I wrote a game for our Dragon 32 home computer. It was originally a pen and paper game for two players; in our version you played against the computer. I have tried to recreate the experience on the web. It needed a bit more room than this blog format allows, so it has its own page:

Cobra: a Dragon 32 game from my past

Looking back now, I realise how much time Dad put in to this project, and how much effort my parents put into encouraging my interests in general. I'm very grateful to them.


Thanks to Nick Gray, I now know that this game is a variant of the Black path game, after its inventor Larry Black. The original game starts with an empty board, and there is a winning strategy for the first player. The pre-filled top-left square would turn this into a winning strategy for the second player. However, the losing lower-right square renders that strategy ineffective. There might be a different winning strategy of course.

Some time after Dad and I had written our version, a different version appeared in Dragon User, where the lower-right square won for the player steering the snake into it. I think that under those rules, the second player can always win.

Thanks are also due to the XRoar project for their emulator, which I used to check the behaviour of the original Basic program scraped off cassette.

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