Sci-fi kids book with BASIC code
December 12, 2008 11:10 AM   Subscribe

Childhood BookFilter: A sci-fi choose-your-own adventure book with snippets of BASIC code that would be a complete game in the end.

The book was a sci-fi children's novel, and along with the story, there were segments of BASIC code that you would key into the computer. I think the code snippets were worked into the context of the story somehow. At the end of the book, the code snippets would be a complete game that you could play, customized depending on which path you took.

If I remember correctly, the completed game involved some sort of robot that was trying to get through a labyrinth, but it could only see a limited distance in each direction. The graphics were probably ASCII graphics (think Rogue or Nethack).

It's possible I'm remembering things wrong and it wasn't actually a choose-your-own-adventure book, but it was definitely a sci-fi story with segments of BASIC code that you would key in, resulting in a playable game at the end.

The book was a bit old even when I was a kid, so when I keyed in the entire game it didn't actually work. All the same, I thought the concept was cool, and I'd like to take a look at it again if anybody remembers it. Thanks!
posted by pravit to Writing & Language (7 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
As a kid, I had a Usborne book on BASIC for kids. Colorful pictures, snippets of code to enter in, but not choose your own adventure.
posted by lizzicide at 11:19 AM on December 12, 2008

This comment mentions the book as well.
posted by lizzicide at 11:23 AM on December 12, 2008

Usborne did put out a lot of awesome books and that's just the kind of thing they would do.
posted by Kirklander at 12:49 PM on December 12, 2008

Response by poster: Hmmm, I still haven't been able to find the book.

The book involved keying in segments of one very long BASIC program that would end up being a playable action game with ASCII graphics. The book itself, if I'm not wrong, was written in a choose-your-own adventure format in a futuristic sci-fi world.
posted by pravit at 6:32 PM on December 12, 2008

Response by poster: I also remember a scene from the book where the main characters visit a planet that is divided by a long wall that was erected to separate two lovers, who communicate through a small hole in the wall.
posted by pravit at 6:37 PM on December 12, 2008

Response by poster: The concept was very similar to Micro Adventure, and the book might actually have been one of the Micro Adventure books, except that I remember the cover looking different, and I don't remember it being part of a series. I could be wrong, but I don't remember the segments of code being independent programs; they were just pieces of the program that would be complete at the very end.

If I remember right, the cover was black and it had a picture of some kind of spaceship on it.
posted by pravit at 7:23 PM on December 12, 2008

Best answer: I found it!!

The book was "Arcade Explorers: Save the Venturians!" Here's a description of the book (I guess it was actually part of a series). Doesn't look like I can find much more about the series, unfortunately.

Sorry for spamming up my own thread.
posted by pravit at 7:35 PM on December 12, 2008

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