QBASIC Gorillas

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A screenshot from the game.

QBASIC Gorillas is an artillery video game developed and published by Microsoft in 1990-04-09 and released with MS-DOS v5.0 as QBASIC source code. In the game, two human opponents play as gorillas standing on a randomly-generated series of skyscrapers. You goal is to hurl explosive bananas at you opponent by entering in an angle and velocity, while factoring in the wind, in an attempt to blow the other player up. The game supports EGA, and CGA graphics.


My family's first computer came with MS-DOS v5.0, and shortly after figuring out how to run QBASIC, I found the game and started playing it. I played around a little with the source code, but never really understood it at the time. Several of the students in my 9th grade math class really loved this game, and we frequently played it after tests and before class started.

Although Gorillas was a great example of what QBASIC was capable of, in hind sight, I find that it is just as much of an example of how limited the language was. There are calls of POKE and PEEK because there isn't a command to get or set num lock, the graphics for the bananas are encoded in complex numbers rather than modifiable bitmaps, determining the available hardware is done through esoteric error trapping because there is no simple way to get it, and the frame rate is governed by counting delays.


I own a copy of this game on my MS-DOS v5.0 disks. The game doesn't have an AI, so it's not really beatable.


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Best Version: DOS

— This section contains spoilers! —


  • As with most artillery video games, it's a nice distraction for awhile.
  • The game is one of the very few complete and competent graphical videogames released in BASIC at the time.


  • Although passable for the game, the graphics and sound were awful compared to what other hardware was capable of. This game was released about seven years after the Famicom.
  • The game shipped with a couple bugs that were never patched.
  • The game doesn't take advantage of the hardware that was available at the time. VGA had been out for three years, but the game runs, at best, in EGA mode, and, even then, it doesn't take advantage of all 16 colors.


  • The game is quite dull. With practically no variation, you'll see everything it has to offer in your first play through.






This download includes the original source code of the game and a pre-compiled DOS binary.


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