This is Play Ball! by EvilPaul, a 4K game from the 2003 Minigame competition. It has the distinction of being the first ever real-world Spectrum program to successfully load and run on OpenZXRom from a tape file. That’s due in no small part to the fact that the Basic portion consists of a single RANDOMIZE USR call followed by a REM, but still, that’s a worthy milestone for the project after a 16 month hiatus, wouldn’t you say?
We haven’t cut any corners in pursuit of that goal either – some crucial pieces of plumbing have been added in this release. The first dabblings into floating point arithmetic are in place, including the foundations for the stack-based mini-language that will be the heart of all our mathematical backflips later on. On the Basic language front we’ve added PEEK, POKE, IN, OUT, USR and PLOT to our repertoire. The big news, though, is that it can now handle simple string expressions, which means that LOAD “foo” CODE is just around the corner – and then that’s the final piece of the Classic Spectrum Basic Loader implemented, which should get a good few hundred games up and running.
There’s been a bit of prettying up too, both inside and outside – the code has been reshuffled into multiple files (because rom.asm eventually grew big enough to be annoying), and the system font has received some much needed care and attention courtesy of Paul van der Laan and his Clairsys font.
Bleeding-edge seat-of-the-pants types can follow the OpenZXRom subversion repository for the latest updates.