Original 1970 Game Source

In 1970 civilian computing was in it's infancy. Few had access to computer systems, and even fewer knew how to program them. Programs and games written for timeshare mainframes were developed and, due to lack of persistent storage, lost. Our partner site myBitBox.com recently found the full source code for a game developed by a high school student on a timshared mainframe back in 1970; Highnoon.

From myBitBox.com:

Highnoon is a BASIC game developed by a student from Syosset High School, NY in early 1970 on a timeshared computer system. The game is single player and set in the Wild West. The objective of the game is a show down between you and Black Bart. Turns are taken to either move closer, run or shoot. Both the player and Bart have four shots and the odds of hitting each other increase as you close the 100 paces between you.

The creator recalls Highnoon was written on a timeshared system leased by Syosset High Scool from 'Call-a-computer' company (Later named Advanced Systems Labs) on Long Island, NY. The program is written in early BASIC and is less than 4 pages printed out. Development was all done via teletype terminal dialed into the server with a maximum user storage of 6.4K. Due to the limited persistent storage, other programs including Highnoon were transfered to paper punch tape off the mainframe. The author still has a copy of the binary program file and an ASCII print out of the code.

Highnoon was a popular game on the Call-A-Computer system and the compiled version was included as a system wide game by administrators.


myBitBox.com has taken the code and made a emulated (and basic) version of Highnoon that is playable using a web browser. The game can be found here: http://mybitbox.com/highnoon/.

2 Comments:
Ryan on Feb 3rd, 2008 10:42pm
Games like this just get better with age. I get a kick out of the limited storage of 6.4K and early BASIC, very... basic
Max on Feb 24th, 2008 4:36pm
Very awesome! I might give a go at porting this over to the apple I. I'm always looking for old games to play on Vince Briel's fantastic replica. http://www.brielcomputers.com/replica1.html