Cavern pops its way into !Store

I’m forever blowing bubbles orbs

A popular game from yesteryear was Bubble Bobble, which was available for a number of 8-bit home computer platforms and consoles – a platform game in which the player moved around each level, firing bubbles at the monsters in order to eliminate them. It’s also one of the games featured in the Code the Classics book from the Raspberry Pi folk – and the ‘type in listing’ from that book, written in Python, is called Cavern.

Cavern is also the second port by Jeroen Vermeulen from that book to BBC BASIC, using the AMCOG Development Kit – and it’s now available to download from !Store.

Cavern title screen

In Cavern, you have to move around the platforms avoiding robots, and you have the ability to blow orbs at them – these will travel a short distance horizontally (increased by holding the fire button) and then begin to float upwards. If one strikes a robot, the robot will become trapped in the orb and float upwards, and when the orb pops, the robot pops its clogs wheel.

One of Cavern’s levels

Robots appear at the top and work their way down the screen, and when they fall through the bottom they reappear at the top, while new robots spawn at the top – so the longer it takes for you to send them to robot heaven, the harder each level will become. Once you’ve defeated all the robots for a particular cavern, though, you’re free… to, er, move on to the next level and face them all over again.

The game supports a number of control methods – the arrow keys, the ZX’/ or ADWS combinations all work if using a keyboard, and if you’re running on a hardware platform that supports game controller pads, and have a suitable pad, the ‘D-pad’ buttons work (though is off by default).

Jeroen notes that while Cavern has appeared fairly soon after Infinite Bunner, he was actually working on the conversion before that game’s release – so the next conversion will probably take a little longer. There are three more games in the book, a Tennis/Pong-type game called Boing, a Centipede-type game called Myriapod, and a Sensible Soccer-type game called Substitute Soccer, and Jeroen is currently trying to decide which game to look at next. Readers with a preference might want to pop along to the RISC OS Open Ltd forums, where he’s posted about the games so far, and make a suggestion there.

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