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10456"The Pits" for AstroBASIC - A FANTASTIC Game!

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  • Adam Trionfo
    Mar 25, 2011
      I have just finished playing "The Pits" By Rex Goulding for about fifteen or twenty minutes via emulation using MESS.  This is an AstroBASIC game that I haven't played before (or one that I can't remember playing).  The graphics are nothing but squares scrolling up the screen.  I play a small dot trying to avoid them the squares (the "pits"0. It doesn't sound like much, but it sure is fun.

      Normally it's not possible to play BASIC games in MESS unless they have been made into cartridge versions, but Richard Degler made a "fixed" AstroBASIC for version .0126 of MESS so that it doesn't get the "Out of Timers" error.  He sent me quite a few Save States that can be loaded into this version of MESS (and ONLY this version of MESS).  I'll be uploading these Save States, probably next week.

      Same facts about the "The Pits," by Rex Goulding:

      Arcadian, Vol. 3 , No. 10, Page 108 (August 1981)

      The object of the game is to move the small dot in the upper-left corner past the pits to the end of the medium-size box in the lower-right corner.  The clunker is that the pits move up the screen all the time and can catch you.  Each time the screen rolls us is counts as one move.  A successful trip in 16 moves is doing well.

      This program has been available for AstroBASIC online for a LONG time.  You can download it here:


      (or use the full URL:)


      If you have an Astrocade, then I HIGHLY recommend that you try this game.  It isn't often that I suggest BASIC games, but I'm doing it now.  I'm not sure if it is the moment, since I just finished playing the game, but this may be my new favorite AstroBASIC game.  When I'm cursing a game and I want to throw my controller (in this case, actually, my keyboard) and it's my very own fault AND I keep coming back for more, then I know that the game is a winner!

      This is a thirty-year old game and it had me REALLY going crazy trying to avoid the pits.  When I won (in 21 moves) I felt like I really accomplished something!  I'd give a screen shot, but it REALLY wouldn't do this game any justice.

      Whenever I play a game that I really like, but that I've never encountered before, I always wonder if it's based on another game.  Richard, have you seen this on another platform?  Lance and Paul, could you try this out and let me know if you've seen it before.  If anyone else gives it a try-- please let me know if you've seen it before.

      Load it up... and HAVE FUN!

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