Now, for the first time in HTML format.
Welcome to THE CONTINUING ADVENTURES of CYBERBOX - a game of planning, logic, and thinking ahead! Your objective is simple:
Escape from each of the 15 rooms in each volume, using as few moves as possible!
The Continuing Adventures of CyberBox is not an arcade game; no manual dexterity is required. You are not timed in any way nor is the speed in which you act important. So slow down! You can afford to relax!
|ORIGINAL DOS REQUIREMENTS
Files CA-CYBER.EXE requires:
Other Files Used Or Included:
If you've purchased the deluxe version, then your disk or directory will have additional...
For those of you who may wish to launch this game from Microsoft's WINDOWS, I've included a custom icon for it. Within Windows, when setting up the program's properties, click on change icon and then simply point to the CYBERICN.ICO file wherever it may reside on your hard disk.
|HOW TO PLAY
You are represented in this game by your choice of several different cursors (a tree, a flag, a snake, a man, etc.). You will be placed at a predetermined spot inside of a carefully constructed room. Your objective is simply to get to the EXIT of each room, ideally using as few moves as possible! The exit is always located in the same spot; at the top of the screen in the middle of the room. Once you reach this exit, you will immediately find yourself in the next room. Each room-volume contains 15 rooms to escape from.
Each room is a separate puzzle all its own. You will never have to pick up an object in one room, for example, to help you exit from another.
You can move your cursor in any of four possible directions:
(You may also use the numbers 2, 4, 6, and 8 on the numeric keypad which will move you down, left, right, and up, respectively. If you DO wish to use this keypad, your NUMLOCK key may be either on OR off.)
Moving diagonally is not possible.
To hinder your attempt to escape, boxes have been strategically placed throughout each room. There are several different types of boxes, which are all described below.
Every room has a solution! However if you're not careful you may trap yourself and may not be able to get to the exit or may render the exit inaccessible. In either case, you must hit the R key to retry this room from the beginning.
If you currently don't have the program loaded, do so now! The entire documentation file is available to read from inside the program! The remaining documentation will probably make much more sense to you if you've already seen the game.
PUSHERS are probably the easiest type of box to understand. They are capable of being pushed in the direction of their arrowheads. These boxes can be pushed if there is nothing in their path to prevent this from happening. All together, there are 11 different types of PUSHERS. Some PUSHERS can only be pushed left, some can only be pushed right, some only up or down etc.
PUSHERS not only can be pushed by you, they can also be pushed by MOVERS. (see MOVERS, below.)
PUSHERS are represented by arrows which point in the direction they can be pushed.
Ok, so I was wrong. BLOCKERS have got to be the easiest type of box to understand. BLOCKERS never move at all. Period. They act as a blocker or wall, since they cannot be pushed and nothing can ever be pushed into them.
Since we've just mentioned BLOCKERS, let's next describe ZAPPERS, since these two boxes have one thing in common: ZAPPERS also never move at all. Ever. What these boxes do though, is zap you forward when you push these from behind. There must be an empty space in the front of the ZAPPER to be zapped. (Or a non-closed SELECTOR. See SELECTORS below.) You must be careful with ZAPPERS because they act like a one-way street. Once you are zapped forward, you can't retreat the same way.
ZAPPERS are represented by a solid purple triangle with a hole in the middle, pointing in the direction one is zapped.
These boxes are neat. MOVERS are always exerting a constant force in the direction they point. These boxes are the only boxes that can move themselves. As soon as a situation exists in which a MOVER can move, it will do so. There are four different types of MOVERS: MOVERS which move up, down, left, or right. MOVERS are able to move PUSHERS or SELECTORS but never PULLERS (which can only be pulled) nor BLOCKERS or ZAPPERS (which never move at all).
MOVERS can never move you. (You're too heavy!) Thus, you don't ever have to worry about getting squashed by a MOVER.
MOVERS are represented by a solid blue triangle, which points in the direction they exert force and move.
Note now, with version 6.0, you have the option of animating these MOVERS. With this option turned on, the little blue arrow moves back and forth. (Since this box is just dying to move!)
Unlike PUSHERS, these boxes cannot be pushed at all. However they are capable of being pulled but only in the direction of their handles. Just like PUSHERS, there are 11 different types of PULLERS, some which can be pulled just to the right, some just to the left, etc. PULLERS may be annoying because, at times, you may not wish to pull them! For example, let's say you've just walked up to a PULLER. If you now reverse your direction and walk back the way you came, this PULLER will in effect, follow you! Without possibly realizing it, you are now pulling it! To quit pulling this box, you will have to either...
The only way EVER for a PULLER to move is for you to pull it. PUSHERS cannot move these boxes nor can a MOVER move it.
PULLERS are represented simply by a rather funny shaped box (you'll see what I mean) with the rectangular handle on the side of the box in which it can be pulled.
And last but certainly not least are the SELECTORS. These boxes cannot be pushed directly by you. They can only be pushed by other boxes. So if you wish to move a SELECTOR, you will have to either push a PUSHER against it or force a MOVER to move it. It should be obvious you can't push SELECTORS because, if you look at them, this type of box does not have a full, solid wall for your cursor to push up against. However, it does have a partial wall at the edges which the PUSHERS and MOVERS use to push it.
There are 4 different types of SELECTORS. The first type is open on all four sides and you can walk right through it. (Pretend you're just small enough to squeeze through!) The second type is only open from the north and south end. The third type is only open from the east and west end. The fourth and final type, represented by an X, is closed, and walking through it is not possible at all.
|More than one box can be moved at
the same time ONLY IF EVERY OTHER BOX IN THAT SERIES OF
BOXES CAN BE LEGALLY MOVED. As Doug said in his original
game, "Experiment. You'll get the idea."
No boxes can ever be pushed through the exit passageway. It's just a tiny bit too small!
This key displays a little sub-menu screen revealing the following four options:
screen gives you some general information about the game,
which data files are currently loaded, etc.
screen is really just to help you get going the first
couple of times you play. It is just a quick review of
each box, its name and how it moves.
can, now with version 4.15, read the documentation file
from right inside the program. While reading the
documentation file, you can change the foreground or
background color to suit your individual taste. Hit F1
for a list of the keys available.
? Show Keys
This will display a list of all of the available keystrokes.
Every valid move you make is saved and recorded in memory. At any time while inside a room, hit this key to see a replay of all the moves you've currently made for this room!
After hitting this key, the room will be temporarily set back to the way it originally was when you first entered. You will then be prompted to hit any other key to begin the replay animation.
You can then sit back and watch the program replay all the moves you made for this room! When finished, you will be right back where you were a moment ago, both in terms of the way the room looked and number of moves made!
The speed at which the cursor moves is set by you, in the Option Screen. For a good chuckle, set the speed on very fast and watch the cursor fly!
For convenience, you can also change the speed while the animation is in progress. The + key will speed up the animation while the - key will slow it down.
the animation is in progress, if you wish to pause it,
simply hit the spacebar. The program will pause until
another key is pressed and then the animation will
This option, allows you to skip a room if you so desire. If you're having problems with a certain room, you can jump to another and come back to this room later.
For your convenience, when inside the Jump Screen, the rooms you have already completed during this session will be highlighted.
In addition to the title of each room, this Jump Screen also displays the number of moves it took you in your shortest solution, as well as what I believe to be the shortest solution. You may find a shorter one!! If you do, I'd like to know about it!
you enter this Jump Screen and decide you do not wish to
jump anywhere, just hit the ESCAPE key to exit back to
the room you were currently in.
This toggle will display your choice of...
convenience, the spacebar or ENTER key will also toggle
the two menus.
screen allows you to set your own game colors, animation
speed, cursor appearance and other options. You can also
load additional data files (room-volumes, box-images and
cursor-images etc.) from within this screen. These
settings are saved to disk in the CA-CYBER.CFG file which
is read when the program is first loaded. All of the
options inside the Option Screen should be
You will probably be using this key often! When you find you've trapped yourself, made the exit inaccessible, or simply wish to start over in the room you are currently in, hit the R key. You will find yourself in the same room, the way it looked when you first started. As mentioned above, when you use this key, the number of moves you used before you screwed up is reset to zero - you are starting this room over from scratch.
you probably WILL be using this key more than any other,
it doesn't make any sense to have a prompt come up each
time to confirm you really DO wish to start over. So
don't hit this key unnecessarily!
See the Solution
Every single time you exit a room, the program logic checks to see if the number of moves you made is lower than the previous known solution for that room! If so, THIS solution immediately becomes the one to beat.
Once a room has been solved, you can see the solution again by hitting the S key. This will display a little sub-menu, giving you the choice of seeing either YOUR shortest solution or the shortest KNOWN solution. Upon choosing either, the room will be temporarily set back to its starting arrangement and you will be prompted to hit a key to begin. You will then see your cursor do what is necessary to exit this room.
The speed the cursor moves is set in the Option Screen. However, you can also change the animation speed simply by hitting the + and - keys. To pause the animation while it is progress, hit the spacebar just like you would while instant replaying.
When the animation is finished, you are again prompted to hit a key. The room is THEN set back to what it was before you saw the solution.
I included this feature of saving the solutions for a couple of reasons. One, I myself enjoy not only simply EXITING each room but trying to do so IN THE FEWEST MOVES POSSIBLE. Now my efforts are rewarded by recording my record solutions for posterity! Two, if anyone is able to BETTER any of MY solutions, you would be able to prove it by simply sending me your solution file. This would sure beat proving it by recording each of your moves by hand. (I went left - left - up - then right - then up - left - left, etc.)
IMPORTANT NOTE! If you decide to purchase additional rooms (remember, the deluxe game is required to load these) I will send you, free of charge, MY solution file to all room volumes!! Thus, if you simply cannot figure out how to exit a particular room, the answer IS available.
you exit the program, the solution file will be
re-written if any rooms have new record-lows.
This option allows you to take back a move if you so desire. Upon hitting the T key, the room is set back to the way it looked prior to your last move. One move is then also subtracted from your move total. In every sense, it's as though you never made the move at all. However you are only allowed to take back one move in succession. (In other words, you can't take back two moves in a row. If you try it no harm will result. You'll simply see an error message.) After taking back a move, you must then make at least one more valid move before you are able to use this take back feature again.
This option often comes in handy if you happen to fumble with your keyboard keys and didn't mean to move your man in the first place.
you feel that in a game of this type taking back a move
then my suggestion is simply not to use it!
eXit to DOS
(along with the ESCAPE key) will exit the program. The
customary Do you really want to
quit? message will appear, in case
you hit this key without actually wishing to.
key combination gives you an alternate way to load a
different Box Image file.
key combination gives you an alternate way to load a
different Cursor Image file.
Although not listed on any of the menus, the key combination ALT-D will temporarily exit the program and shell out to DOS. This can be useful if you are playing this game at work and see or hear your boss approaching! (Or if YOU are the boss and don't want your employees to see YOU playing games!)
After shelling, simply type EXIT to re-enter the program. You will find yourself back in the room, the way you left it just a moment ago.
The amount of memory you will have available after shelling will depend upon your own system configuration.
typing EXIT and returning to the game, make sure you are
back in the directory the program is launched from.
(Assuming you happened to change directories in the first
key combination gives you an alternate way to jump to the
very Next room.
key combination gives you an alternate way to jump to the
key combination will Recall the last saved position. Your
move total will be set back to the number of you moves
you had when you initiated your save. As with ALT-S there
is no confirmation so be careful, since recalling your
last position wipes out your CURRENT position.
This feature allows you to Save the current position in memory. It can be VERY handy and should be used often! You are only allowed to save one position. Each time you hit ALT-S, any previously saved positions are overwritten. There currently is no confirmation, so do not hit this key combination unnecessarily. Use ALT-R (see ALT-R above) to recall this position.
you decide to exit this room, the position is then lost,
even if you decide to re-enter the same room later.
This key combination gives you an alternate way to load an additional Room Volume file.
|DIFFERENCES FROM THE ORIGINAL
With some of these later versions, as I've continued to add features, some people have reported having problems loading the program into memory. If you are having such difficulties, try loading the program WITHOUT the documentation file by using the no-doc command-line switch. For example...
bypass loading the entire documentation file and free up
about 60K of conventional memory.
If you're having problems when you go into either the JUMP or the OPTION Screen, try loading the program with the no-interrupt command-line switch. For example...
bypass the CALL INTERRUPT logic which is being used to
display text characters in a smaller font in those
If you've purchased the deluxe version, you can, if you wish, specify which room-volume data file, which cursor-image data file, and which box-image data you wish to use, right on the command-line! (You can also load these within the program in the OPTION Screen.) The format is...
If you don't specify any filename parameters on the command-line, the program will automatically load the files you were using the last time you played.
The order of the above three files is irrelevant. The program logic is smart enough to know which is which. Just be sure to include one or more spaces between each filename.
A few examples:
To load the third set of 15 rooms (v-edc-03.dat) using the cursor images from the third set (cursr-03.dat) you could type either...
If you wanted to load this same third set of rooms using the cursor images from the first set along with the box-images from the second set all WITHOUT the documentation file you could type...
By default, your cursor will automatically travel across the length of the screen if you continuously hold the appropriate cursor key down.
If you wish, you can disable this option with the no-auto switch.
require you to release each key after every move before
your cursor will be able to move again. This feature is
most beneficial to people with cerebral palsy and similar
The deluxe version has the capability of not displaying the final Thanks for playing! screen. If you do not wish to see it, type
which will completely bypass this final screen when you exit.
|CREATING YOUR OWN ROOMS
Starting with version 6.00, my Room Editor program now comes included with the non-deluxe version. This is the program I currently use to create all of my rooms. This editor will allow you to create, test and play a room you yourself create. However, if you wish to actually load a room in the game, you will have to purchase, from me, the deluxe version.
The Room Editor program comes with its own documentation file, so I won't bother describing it here.
If you feel the game can use improvements in any area, or more importantly, if you find any programming bugs, I would appreciate it very much if you would let me know. With a program of this size and complexity, there is always the possibility for a bug or two. I apologize in advance if there ARE any.
None! This game is free. There is no registration fee or trial period whatsoever. Keep it for as long as you want. Feel free to make copies for friends, upload it to computer bulletin boards, etc. However, when archiving the game or when giving it away, PLEASE make sure the following thirteen files are all included:
The configuration file will be created when the program first runs and does not need to be included.
The non-deluxe version will only load the room-volume data file v-edc-01.dat (my first set of rooms) and the cursor-image data file cursr-01.dat. If you wish to attempt to solve additional rooms, or load additional cursor-images, you will have to purchase, from me, the deluxe version.
|THE DELUXE VERSION
The deluxe version will allow you to...
The deluxe version and any room-volumes other than v-edc-01.dat are NOT free, and may not be distributed, uploaded to computer bulletin boards or any Internet site etc., or sold in any way.
If you enjoy the game there are many more rooms to escape from! And with the CyberBox Room Editor, many more rooms will be created by others all the time.
The cost of the deluxe game is $3.00. This is very inexpensive compared to the cost of many store bought or commercial games. And because the data for the rooms are read in from a data file, this game will always have replay value, which is not the case with many commercial games. (With many commercial games once you find the solution or win, the game is no longer fun to play. That's why these rooms are read in from a data file and not hard-coded in the program. There can ALWAYS be more rooms to solve.)
Each room-volume contains 15 rooms and are currently only $1.00 each.
|cost to receive the deluxe game||$ 3.00|
|V-DB-01.DAT (Doug's first set of rooms)||free|
|V-EDC-02.DAT (my 2nd set of rooms)||$ 1.00|
|V-EDC-03.DAT (my 3rd set of rooms)||$ 1.00|
|V-EDC-04.DAT (my 4th set of rooms)||$ 1.00|
|V-MBM-01.DAT (Mike McKee's 1st set of rooms)||$ 1.00|
|V-VAR-01.DAT (rooms by various authors)||$ 1.00|
|WCC-01.DAT (Bill Collins' 1st set of rooms)||$ 1.00|
|V-VAR-02.DAT (rooms by various authors)||$ 1.00|
|postage & materials (diskette, mailing envelope, etc.)||$ 3.00|
|The postage and materials fee can be
waived if you wish me to simply e-mail
the game to you. Please be sure to include your e-mail
Please mail all checks or money orders to the following address:
All disks sent will be 31/2 inch in size unless you specify otherwise. Be sure to include your return address.
You can also e-mail me at:
|WHAT IS A CYBERBOX?
Is CyberBox the name of the game? Is it the name of your little man? Wait! It's gotta be the name of the boxes you push and pull, right? Or is it the name of the ROOM you are trapped in? What the heck is a "CyberBox?"
I've decided it is... all of the above! And more! In a game of logic, planning, and strategy, this may be the only illogical thing about it! AAGGHH! Star Trek's Mr. Spock would have a fit if he heard this! (Actually, since Vulcans don't have fits, maybe he wouldn't!)
CyberBox can be used as a noun...... Let's play CyberBox! or...... I hope CyberBox can make it out of this room safely! Or as an adjective...... That is one CyberBox of a room! Or as a verb...... Ahhh! I've been CyberBoxed! or...... Don't CyberBox me! or...... well, you get the idea!!
Please note CyberBox is always spelled as one word, with the letter B in box capitalized. This is the way Doug spelled it on his opening screen in HIS CyberBox game and... well, I kinda liked it that way. So now it's official!
|HINTS AND TIPS
Generally, in each volume of rooms, the LOWER the room number the EASIER it should be to solve. Of course, what one might consider easy, another may consider quite difficult, so don't take this too literally. But in general you should find this to be true.
The number of moves required to exit does not in any way reflect the difficulty of the room. Several rooms are rather easy to solve...it just takes awhile to do it.
Usually when first presented with a room, it's often easier to solve if you mentally work BACKWARD. Figure out what needs to be done around the EXIT and then work your way backward from there.
When traveling across the entire screen, you can hold your cursor keys continuously down if you so desire. This can be faster than making each move one square at a time.
Don't forget to read the name of each room in the upper right hand corner of the screen. Sometimes the name of the room will actually provide a small clue to help you in your goal of exiting it.
The author's name whose designed each room is displayed vertically on the right hand side of the screen. If you send me a room YOU yourself design, please let me know how you want YOUR name to be displayed. If the room is good enough I'll include it in my next room-volume.
The program now takes up a rather large amount of memory (this wasn't always the case, but with each subsequent version, I added more and more code) but it's still not too bad. Remember, I'm keeping in memory...
If you do not have enough memory to load and run the program, try removing such things as your mouse driver, any TSR programs you may may have installed (such as DOSKEY, SMARTDRIVE.EXE, etc.), Also, you may wish to see if you can load anything in the upper memory area thereby freeing up more conventional memory.
A complete list of all rooms created so far, along with the number of moves for the shortest known solution, can now be found in the enclosed ROOMLIST.TXT file.
This program was written and compiled using Spectra Publishing's PowerBASIC version 3.00c. Doug wrote his program in C but I don't know C (yet) so I decided writing it in BASIC was better than COBOL, since COBOL and BASIC are the only two languages I'm currently proficient in.
A friend of mine (a non-programmer) couldn't believe I could create and write this game without ever looking at the original source code. Well Craig, believe it! Even if I HAD seen the code, it wouldn't have helped me much anyway since I don't know "C". Nope, the entire code, every line, is all my own.
For those of you who are curious, the source code for this program contains 6,420 lines of code and 5,939 statements! To print out the entire listing, at 60 lines per page, would require over 107 pages!
When I compiled the program, I generated code to specifically check for the presence of the 80286 (or better) CPU. I'm sorry to the few of you remaining who may still have an old 8086/8088 processor since the program won't run (it shouldn't run!) but it would probably run too slowly to be enjoyable anyway. I've been writing and testing it on my 486 (with 33 MHz) and when I first saw it on a 286 (with only 12 MHz) I was surprised and disappointed on how slowly it ran (i.e. some of the screen writes). In fact, I decided I just HAD to go back into the program and re-write the portions of my code that ran too slowly. I can't even IMAGINE what it would look like on an old XT! And since it requires a VGA graphics card and monitor anyway, I don't think I'm keeping too many people from seeing it by compiling it with the 286 code generation. I mean, how many people have a color VGA monitor hooked up to an XT??
I've tested this program on several different types of systems and I've experienced no problems. If it doesn't work on YOUR system, I'd be interested in knowing what type of setup you have. (The name of the VGA graphics card & monitor, computer brand, operating system, version number, amount of conventional memory you have available, etc.)
Starting with Version 6.25, the list of revisions is being kept in its own file, appropriately called REVISIONS.TXT. This means the documentation file is considerably shorter and allows the program to run on systems where the amount of memory available is a factor.
I'd like to thank the following people for helping me test the following versions of the game:
Thanks to my former co-worker Terry Donn of Detroit, Michigan for coming up with the name of this program.
A special thanks goes out to William G. Hall of Springfield, Illinois for being the first person to purchase the deluxe game.
A hearty congratulations goes out to Ernie Longway of Parker, Colorado who discovered shorter solutions to more than 27 of my rooms in the first four volumes! More than 27 SHORTER SOLUTIONS! Good work, Ernie!
Thanks to Petr Simon of the Czech Republic for his own CyberBox Forever game. Several of the ideas he had in this game influenced a few of the changes I made in version 6.0. And his ideas on the way the MOVERS should move, has been invaluable.
Thanks for Mike McKee of Webster City, Iowa for his CYBER-02.ICO icon, as well as for the 15 rooms he created which you can find in Volume V-MBM-01.DAT.
Thanks to Michael Donn of Lakebay, Washington for several shorter solutions to many of the rooms as well as for pointing out a couple of bugs.
Thanks to Daniel F. Schwallie for his excellent alternative box-image file.
last but certainly not least, I'd also like to give a big
thank you to Doug Beeferman, who wrote the original
CyberBox game. Obviously, if it weren't for him I would
never have written this program in the first place.
Thanks Doug, wherever you are!
really would like to hear your comments, so feel free to
drop me a line.
Happy CyberBoxing to you all!
Edward D. Collins
January 1, 2010