The games of IBM’s QBASIC

QBASIC Gorillas

I’m always amazed by my mind’s ability to lose memories completely, only to have them return vividly back to life when confronted with something from my past. Such as my memories of QBASIC, a programming language released by IBM and provided free in the early 90’s as part of MS-DOS 5.

I hadn’t forgotten about QBASIC, thanks in part to a game that I would eventually remake, called Nibbles. This snake game, supplied as an example game with the language, had me hooked for hours at school. Once I had completed the game, I would go on to spend many more hours playing with the code and introducing news maps and features. This was my introduction to coding and, since that is now my career, I owe it a great debt!

The memory that I had forgotten was of a second example game called Gorillas, a title which had you and another player throwing exploding bananas at each other across a city scape. Whilst this game didn’t occupy as much of my time as Nibbles, it certainly had an impact on my future gaming choices – I consider Amiga classics Scorched Tanks and Worms: The Directors Cut, both of a very similar nature to Gorillas, to be amongst my favourite ever games!

Move through time 20 years and you would find me writing my first and only game – Snake Club – a game that shares the same genes as QBASIC Nibbles, but this time written in a Delphi-like language called GML. Below is a quick video for basic training in my game, showing the similarities and proving how those wasted hours at school did at least bear some fruit!