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Thread: Games for the IBM 5155 portable (or XT desktop)

  1. #1

    Default Games for the IBM 5155 portable (or XT desktop)

    I think it was WMH who asked a few weeks ago (I've lost track of the thread) about games for the IBM 5155 portable. At the time, I suggested that the 5155 (which I also have) is not much of a gaming machine, given its slow CPU (8088 4.7Mhz), limited memory (256kb), limited storage (2 360kb floppy drives), and limited display (CGA on a 9 in. monochrome composite monitor). An IBM PC XT with a mono CGA would be an equivalent system and thus equally unsuited for gaming.

    But perhaps I was wrong, as my subsequent online research, downloading, and experimentation suggests. Most of the games I tried, were either too advanced for the 5155, or too primitive to hold my interest for more than a few minutes. I found a few programs, however, that are quite acceptable on the 5155, especially since mine has upgraded memory (512kb) and storage (2 1.44mb floppies and a 128mb CF card):

    PACMAN (the Atari version, not a clone, ported to the 808
    Space Commander (a very nicely done Invader clone; I haven't found an official version of Invader for the 808
    Wheel of Fortune (official version looks and works well)
    Scrabble (official version; well worth playing on the 5155; comes with CGA, EGA, and VGA drivers)
    Digger (this classic is fun to play, for awhile anyway)
    Frogger (works fine, but that train is a killer)
    Fowl Play (a Frogger clone that's kind of cute)
    Casino (developed internally at IBM for staff play on the 8088; includes blackjack, poker, and slots)
    Blackjack (I found one that's better than the IBM version above)
    Pong! (oddly, it's hard to find a Pong that works and looks good on the 5155; I had to modify this BASIC program and qb/l compile it)
    Donkey (childish, but fun, motoring along a highway with many stray donkeys)
    Offroad (desert 4-wheeling, driving fast, jumping over obstacles -- what's not to like?)
    Lemonade (the Apple II classic, or a good clone, ported to the 8088; the .bas version crashes, but the .com works fine)
    Baby (infants are thrown from a burning building and you catch them if you can, which I often can't)
    Volleyball (Pong-like, but with a big graphic volleyball that can be finessed over the net)

    That's about all I've found, so far. If you have a 5155, XT, or similar 8088 system and you've found other games that look and work well, please share your knowledge.
    Last edited by Gib; September 10th, 2012 at 04:19 PM.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gib View Post
    Pong! (oddly, it's hard to find a Pong that works and looks good on the 5155; I had to modify this BASIC program and qb/l compile it)
    Would be very nice if you share your modifications.

  3. #3
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    ftp://ftp.oldskool.org/pub/misc/xtfiles.rar has a metric crapload of 4.77MHz-friendly CGA games in it. From that file's readme:

    A special note about the games: I tried to pick the best-performing games for
    this snapshot, ones that are fun to play even on the lowest of the
    low-performing PCs (ie. any 8088 computer). Hopefully you'll agree. I've even
    included a special games directory called TECH For games that are truly a
    technical masterpiece, achieving some truly amazing graphics, speed, or sound
    for such a slow machine and limited graphics card. Some of the best 3D
    graphics on a slow machine include Jet, Die Hard, Deep Space, and Vaxine. Some
    of the best CGA graphics tricks include Bob Wilder and others. Some of the
    best sound comes from Mach 3 and Space Racer. They may not always be fun to
    play, but they sure are hard to beat from a programming perspective!

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by lucasdaytona View Post
    Would be very nice if you share your modifications.
    Pong! was one of several Pong clones (in .bas and .exe form) that I came across. None of them run properly on an 8088 computer. Some require QBASIC, which itself requires at least a '286 CPU. Some run, but too slowly, since their speed settings were programmed for faster-than-8088 CPUs. Pong!.bas is in the former category, and it came with the compiled Pong!.exe, which is in the latter category. Both were derived from Ping, which is included, and which is a mess. Since I couldn't find anything better, and since Pong! works acceptably on a faster computer, I set about modifying it (i.e., trying to increase the speed settings) to run on the 8088.

    To make a long story short, I ran qb/l (the /l accesses needed libraries), loaded Pong!.bas, upped startspeed% from 5 to 15, added + 10 to speed%, and added * 1.15 to baddh * speed%, and then before leaving qb, I compiled as a standalone .exe. The result is a Pong!.exe that is barely acceptable on an 8088. I'd like it to play faster, but the program malfunctions at any higher settings. (Send me a PM if you want me to email the .bas and .exe files to you.)

    What I really want is a Pong that was programmed to run on an 8088 in the first place. If anyone can point me towards one, I'd appreciate it.
    Last edited by Gib; September 9th, 2012 at 09:05 PM.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trixter View Post
    ftp://ftp.oldskool.org/pub/misc/xtfiles.rar has a metric crapload of 4.77MHz-friendly CGA games in it. From that file's readme:

    Thanks for the link. The .rar is 49mb, and it expands to 130mb. Looks like a lot of fun stuff, but unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a Pong in there.

  6. #6
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    You missed two:

    16LOWRES\BRICKS.EXE is a Pong clone. It uses text mode to fake a 16-color 160x100 graphics mode, so if you can hook your machine to an RGB monitor you'll see some nice color.

    ARCADE\DOH is Arkanoid 2: Revenge of Doh which is a port of the arcade game, which itself is an enhanced Pong. Even if you don't like enhancements, you should give this one a shot since it has nice clean graphics, and supports both a joystick or a mouse for more fine analog control (pong games are no fun using the keyboard). Use "ARK2 R" to reconfigure the game's options.
    Last edited by Trixter; September 9th, 2012 at 09:24 PM. Reason: Added note about reconfiguring Arkanoid

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trixter View Post
    You missed two:

    16LOWRES\BRICKS.EXE is a Pong clone. It uses text mode to fake a 16-color 160x100 graphics mode, so if you can hook your machine to an RGB monitor you'll see some nice color.

    ARCADE\DOH is Arkanoid 2: Revenge of Doh which is a port of the arcade game, which itself is an enhanced Pong. Even if you don't like enhancements, you should give this one a shot since it has nice clean graphics, and supports both a joystick or a mouse for more fine analog control (pong games are no fun using the keyboard). Use "ARK2 R" to reconfigure the game's options.
    Yeah, I came across bricks.exe previously and ruled it out. It's just not watchable on an 8088. All the bricks are flashing constantly and annoyingly. Whatever the author was trying to do, it doesn't work in CGA. I do like brickout games, but their format is not classic Pong, which is two paddles hitting a ball back and forth across a net.

    I hadn't tried Ark2 before. Again, it's brickout, but this author has done a terrific job with the graphics. Looks great and plays well on the 5155.

    I don't doubt that there are many more good games within that 130mb "metric crapload," as you put it. Thanks again for the link.

  8. #8
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    Do you like roguelike games? Here's a neat one.

    http://members.chello.at/theodor.lau...s/alphaman.htm

    the main page has a lot of games on it, too.

    http://members.chello.at/theodor.lauppert/games/

    I'm not sure which ones will run on an XT, though.
    The ancients knew *more* than us...
    http://www.legendarytimes.com/forum/index.php They're baaaack!

    Come and see http://www.gamegavel.com for all your gaming needs! We have Zero-ohm resistors!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanAllan View Post
    Do you like roguelike games? Here's a neat one.

    http://members.chello.at/theodor.lau...s/alphaman.htm

    the main page has a lot of games on it, too.

    http://members.chello.at/theodor.lauppert/games/

    I'm not sure which ones will run on an XT, though.
    Thanks. If only to see the 32 Pac-Man clones, mind-bogglingly displayed on a single page of 4 screenshots across and 8 rows down, this website is worth a visit. The specs of most games are beyond my elderly 5155, but it's still a good link, because I do have several other computers that can run software the 8088 can't.

  10. #10

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    Other games that you can play: (run fine on my Toshiba T1000 (CGA ,512K but I think they will be OK with 256k)
    GALACTIC BATTLE requires 256K CGA-nice shoot'em up game
    MOON PATROL
    APPLE PANIC-the nice platform game
    PAKU PAKU-excellent pac man clone with 16 colors from forum member deathshadow
    ALLEY CAT-the classic but difficult game
    Rollo and the Brush Brothers http://www.download-central.ws/DOS/Games/R/Rollo/
    PARATROOPER
    ZAXXON-try it,it is old so it may be run with 256k
    J-BIRD-a clone of 1982 arcade Q*Bert
    If I'll remember more I'll let you know
    Last edited by angel_grig; September 10th, 2012 at 07:01 AM.

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