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QBasic: The RPG
(Dark Legends Software)


"Have QB's experts met their match?"

While a group of QuickBasic's most intelligent programmers were chatting online, a mysterious entity named GodQB joins the conversation with the promise of an outlandish RPG. Realizing GodQB's pathetic programming skills, the programmers ridicule him.

GodQB was infuriated with the QB expert's hostile treatment of his programming abilities. In a violent but shocking move, GodQB seizes LiquidEx's only copy of QB 4.5! Hoping to restore power to LiquidEx, you step into the chatroom and challenge GodQB in a one-on-one duel!

Graphics (n.)
The use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
N/A You can't fool me with those colored ASCII text characters... QBasic: The RPG is still a text game! There isn't quite any eye candy that will make you say "Awesome!", but at least Matthew R. Knight, the programmer of this game, made sure that the text graphics in the game are pleasing to the eyes.
Sound/Music (n.)
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
N/A The notion of having a QBRPG poking a little fun on the QB community may sound good to your funny bone, but you won't hear a single sound while QBasic: The RPG is in play. The project, which took Matthew R. Knight only a few hours to accomplish, did not include time for sound effects or PC music.
Gameplay (n.)The precision of control and involvement of character within its universe v
Gameplay has got to be the Achille's heel of QBasic: The RPG. There's only one type of enemy to fight besides GodQB, and that's the maniacal C++ coder. That being said, the C++ coder doesn't really do anything more than attack. You, on the other hand, have the option in battle to run, attack the enemy with a GOTO statement, or drink some coffee to return some HP. To make matters worse, you have to input your battle commands by pressing the appropriate key and then pressing Enter.

What makes up somewhat for the lack of battle depth is the use of experience levels. While the gameplay is simple, your HP, experience points, and the number of cups of coffee you're carrying all go into play when you go into battle. So although the game is simple, you still have to work a little and get into the game before you can expect to have a chance against GodQB.

Story (n.)
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
A major strength. Many RPGs, no matter what programming language, console, or computer, tend to branch off of similar motifs. But QBasic: The RPG is a bit pioneering in the sense that it chooses an environment completely different from any place ever seen in an RPG before. What better way to make a QBRPG than to concentrate the action in the QB community itself? It's truly a twist that makes this product stand out.

But just for the sake of consistency, Matthew also took the extra step to make sure that the game's plot doesn't feel ripped. There was no princess to save or key to find. All you have to do is find GodQB and beat him up! With a few additional touches to make you feel like you're actually walking around a town and talking to QB programmers, this game has done a great job in the story deparment considering the amount of time it actually takes to win the game. Overall, a good job.

Replay Value (n.)
The timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated again and again
Good text games are really hard to find these days. So if you do bump into something like QBasic: The RPG and you're a text RPG buff, then you'll probably play this game more than once. The lack of any annoying or unfair elements is a plus, and the game's mechanics are simple enough that you could just jump into a fresh new game any time during the day.
Challenge (v.)
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and reflexes
(Very Poor) At most, you'll probably lose in QBasic: The RPG once; your failure will arrive only if you underestimate GodQB's power. A good battle plan will be to battle some C++ coders in the game until you reach a high enough Experience level. This shouldn't take very long either, because you get strong pretty quickly. Sooner or later, you might not even need the coffee that gives you healing power.
Fun Factor (n.)
The overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
QBasic: The RPG is a prime example of how a fresh, new idea for a QBRPG can strike gold in the Fun Factor department even if the game itself has no sound or graphics. There are two keys that make this short RPG work. First, the game is not very long. In fact, the twenty minutes we banked on this game was mainly for security reasons; we wanted our character to be pumped up enough to handle anything the RPG threw at us.

The second key to QBasic: The RPG's fun factor (and perhaps related to the first) is the lack of a save feature. A save feature would have made this game way too easy to be enjoyable because you'd be able to calculate how much power you need to defeat GodQB. Without an auto-save to help you out, you're forced to use a little extra skill and judgment while playing what is actually a pretty simple game.

I think Matthew R. Knight was a little too hard on himself when he released QBasic: The RPG. If you read the beginning of Matthew's programming code, you'll see that he says, "Please accept my heartfelt apologies for releasing this crappy RPG!" After playing the game though, I don't see any reason why Matthew should apologize. This game is one of the few times where the text game formula was done correctly, and the game shows that Matthew is a person who has quite a knowledge of the QB community as well as some creative ideas. It may not be spectacular, but QBasic: The RPG is quite the gift.

Players 1 player Genre: Role Playing Game
Rating To solve: 20 min Final Rating: 9/35

To download this game, click here.
Installation Tip
wTo run this game, you must have any version of Microsoft QuickBasic.
wOnce Qbasic: The RPG is unzipped, run "QBTHERPG.BAS" from QuickBasic.

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