QBasic Gorillas DOS front cover
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    QBasic Gorillas

    Gorilla is a cute little BASIC game included free with the first version of Microsoft’s QBASIC program (the other being a QBASIC version of Nibblers). Play QBasic Gorillas online!

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    This is what happens when one takes the classic ballistic artillery game (perhaps the first major application for computers, and a field whose advancement was arguably single-handedly responsible for numerous categories of mathematical development in the West), replace the cannons and cannonballs with gorillas and bananas, place them, like King Kong or George from Rampage, atop buildings of varying heights instead of in the bowls, on the slopes and peaks of hills and valleys, and package it with the QuickBasic interpreter included with MS-DOS 5.0.

    The game play is a dense inter-tangling of mathematical formulae that Donkey Kong can only scratch his lousy head enviously at while trying to count on his great monkey paws and do long division in his simian cranium. Players must account for the wind’s variable direction and speed as well as a constant gravitational pull in order to attempt to lob banana bombs on an angle and with launch power permitting a trajectory such that it will clear the tops of intervening buildings and land on or near the opposing ape, exploding violently and giving us an unprecedented demonstration of guerrilla warfare.

    If successful, the top banana does the Donkey Kong (a very brief disco dance sensation); in the event of failure, the human opponent gets an opportunity to plug in some numbers and attempt to do unto others as was done to him, until one of the two is reduced to banana-ape-gunpowder gumbo. In the meantime, the urban landscape is reduced to a wasteland pocked with the craters of near misses — a wry turning of the tables only too rarely possible among endangered species.

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