Subject: Light's Out
Date:    Sun, 2 Jan 2000 15:03:30 -0000
From:    Gary Watson 
To:      kbarr 


I wrote a program similar to Tiger's "Light's Out" back in 1985 or so, in
GWBasic for IBM PC's.  It was called "Flip".  I deliberately used the block
characters so that people without a graphics card could still play it.  I'm
not sure, but it's possible I invented the game as I had never heard of it
before hand.  My version was different from the hand held Tiger game (which
is pretty cool by the way) in that the object was to get all the squares lit
up, always five squares were lit up at random to start the game, and you
were not allowed to press an illuminated square.  I'm not sure why I made
that restriction, but it made it hard to solve.  The starting position was
generated randomly, and a mathamatician friend of mine speculated that some
starting positions were insolvable, but he couldn't prove it (I suspect it
was sour grapes because he couldn't ever beat it).

Tiger has a patent on the Light's Out game, and it would be a hoot if it
turned out that the invention really belonged to the public domain!  I
uploaded Flip to about a hundred BBS's from 1985 to about 1988 or
thereabouts.  Any idea how long Tiger has been making their game?

Gary Watson
Technical Director
Nexsan Technologies, Ltd.
Imperial House
East Service Road
+44 (0) 1332 5 444 33

Look at flip.bas
(remember that many of the puzzles this generates are unsolvable!)