You are a CIA agent!

You are a CIA agent!

Back in the day, people learned programming by typing in BASIC programs from books and magazines. Besides the books that came with my TSR-80, if there was one book that got my programming bug off the ground, it had to be this one: Basic Fun with Adventure Games. A book I bought for $0.75 at an school book sale when I was around 5th grade.

Basic Fun with Adventure Games by Susan Drake Lipscomb and Margaret Ann Zuanich

What made this book so amazing is that it not only contains a full text adventure game you can type in, but it also teaches you how to write your own adventure game – from concept to implementation. I remember being blown away at how good this book was. Even today it holds up to teach the requirements and skills needed to program your first game. It certainly worked well enough for me as a 10-12 year old to completely write my own game about finding the deed to a castle after your rich uncle died. Highly recommend checking it out.

It was the most amazing 75 cents I spent in my entire childhood and still holds a special place in my heart. My copy still sits on my bookshelf next to the college programming textbooks.

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3 thoughts on “You are a CIA agent!

  1. Hi,
    I’m the owner of the website retroprogrammez.fr
    I’ve fixed several errors on the version of cia.bas published on my website.
    If you have identified some typo, please let me know, I would be pleased to fix that as well.
    Regards,

    1. Great to meet you! Thanks for updating it. I know I found a few errors and fixed them on my local copy. I’ll try to compare them and see if I find anything we both missed.

      Thankfully, modern diff tools makes this much easier than using the original hardware!

  2. I borrowed this amazing book from the library and got so excited about coding, that I truly, without hyperbole, believe it’s the the real start of my career now as a developer.

    Last year I actually bought this book off ebay second hand and had so much fun deconstructing the code again. I can only hope that educational coding books for kids today are this good.

    I got curious about what happened to the two authors which brought me to this page, and so I’m taking this opportunity to thank those two for doing so much for my life. And thank you for recognizing this book in this blog!

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