DescriptionBuster Block is a maze game where the player needs to go through 25 levels and destroy monsters by pushing blocks onto them. Energy is lost when the player collides with a monster or gets pushed by a block. The game is based on the two BBC Micro titles Pingu and Rubble Trouble and uses 16 types of blocks; those from the games it is based on along with blocks that can go around corners. There are six different monsters and the game's 400 rooms are not random, but designed individually. Energy can also be gained back, along with bonus points.
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DevelopmentSome technical information about the game from the programmer Steven Wallis:
The MSX platform, on which I implemented Buster Block first, had very limited graphics (only two colours in a row of eight pixels apart from a small number of monochrome sprites), but they were well-suited to this game since blocks are easier to make multi-coloured than other objects. I did virtually the entire graphics for Buster Block, unlike our other games, because accommodating to the limitations of MSX graphics required a different kind of skill to simply being very good at art (which Sean was). [Sean’s only contributions to this game were the ASCII character set and logos.] The MSX platform provided the choice of pixel or (multi-coloured) character-mapped display facilities, which meant that there were fewer problems of slow-downs on the MSX in screens with a lot of monsters and blocks moving at once. The more limited memory capacity of the CPC-464 (64K in total) meant that I had to use up some of the screen memory for data and shrink the screen size, and the graphics on the top of the screen is only stored in the screen memory. The limit of four colours also affects the graphics quality, but I was so proud of this game that I didn't have the motivation to finish writing any more games afterwards.