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The IBM BASIC Quiz (DOS)

The IBM BASIC Quiz DOS Title screen

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Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (40602)
Written on  :  Apr 29, 2017
Rating  :  2.33 Stars2.33 Stars2.33 Stars2.33 Stars2.33 Stars
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Summary

A quiz suitable for the average programmer

The Good

When people took up a career writing computer software in their young age, they usually started with a language called BASIC, then if they were confident enough, they might have moved onto other ones such as C++, Pascal, Forth, etc. Scott Miller’s The IBM BASIC Quiz is there just in case we happen to forget everything we learned in our primary language. It gives the player about 100 random questions about the commands and syntax, and records how many questions they get correct.

The games shares the same mechanics as The Computer Quiz, Miller’s other quiz program. As well as the recording of correct answers, the game delivers the same amount of multiple-choice questions, and if you get an answer incorrect, the correct one will be revealed to you. This means that people not familiar with BASIC programming will learn something new, and they will be able to get it right next time they play, saving them from going through tutorial manuals looking for the right answer.

I used to program in Commodore BASIC and then QuickBASIC when I was growing up, but as I was fed up with it and began designing web sites, first for my multimedia degree and then for my local college. Had I continued with my programming, I would have been familiar with commands like CINT, LOCATE, and TRON/TROFF.

At the start of the game, you are asked whether you want color or monochrome graphics. When it was released back in the Nineties, this didn't matter as more and more people were just starting to invest in EGA or VGA cards. But anyone who couldn’t afford such a care were still able to run the game, but the text was nowhere near as good. Also, the game was designed to run on any PC, no matter what CPU it has.

The Bad

There is virtually no sound in the game, just a single beep for everything. So there is no specific sound effect to differentiate between right and wrong answers. Also, I find it annoying that you are kicked out of the game after all your bonus men are lost. A simple “Do you want to try again?” message would not have hurt.

The Bottom Line

Suitable for programmers as well as people who are just learning to program, The IBM BASIC Quiz can run on any machine with any graphics card, be it monochrome or color. You are presented with three multiple-choice questions, and you are penalized for each incorrect answer. The game is ideal for anyone who did not use BASIC for a while and want to see if they can remember everything they learnt about the language.