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Review by  Floyd Maseda
Reviewed on 2007-03-22
"Conway's Game of Life!" is a true replication of the original. I do believe that this on-calc version runs substantially faster than even versions on my computer! Some things do bug me, though.

In order to start the program, one has to first draw a picture using normal TI-OS commands and store it to a PicX variable. This just seems tacky to me. It would be nice if the user could start out with a blank screen in the program and draw the starting picture. Of course, PicX variable support should still exist.

I also don't like the way the program immediately "jumps" into the manipulation stage. It would be nice if, for a few seconds (or until a keypress), the program displayed the screen that was about to be manipulated before the actual manipulation began.

Also, the program automatically sets itself to wrap the screen every time the user runs the manipulation stage. This gets annoying, and I find myself having to press 2nd, MATH very quickly in order to keep the results true. Ideally, the program would allow the user to set up some starting criteria when he/she first runs the program.

The last thing I would like to see is the ability to skip one frame at a time. I see this is already done with the "Min" time speed, but this is in a time-based manner - every 1-2 seconds or so, a new screen is displayed. If the user has to leave the game a minute for some reason, he/she would miss part of the manipulation. By adding the ability to go forward one frame at a time, this would be avoided. This setting could be controlled by the arrow buttons, and it could also go along with the starting criteria - maybe in an "Options" screen.

This is the first game of its type that I've seen for the 83+/SE. As I see the game now, though, I look at it as if it were in beta stages. The game feels really incomplete to me. If these options were added, the game would feel much more similar to the original. For this stage, though, great game nonetheless!

Review by  Marcin S
Reviewed on 2007-03-12
Note! This review was written for a previous version of this file!

This is the best version of Conway's Game of Life I've seen for the TI calculator, and I've seen quite a few.

Graphics - 10/10 - Simply amazing. From the title screen to the actual in-game effects, the graphics are as good as they can be for a TI Game of Life.

Speed - 10/10 - This program is FAST! I was shocked when it went so much faster than the screenshot suggested. What I furthermore like is that the speed can even be controlled in-game.

Interactivity - 8/10 - Though not exactly a game that is played, it still is in the games category and I believe it could have been a bit more interactive. I liked being able to set the speed and to set up your own patterns, but you have to leave the program and edit a picture with the pen tool, which is time-consuming and inconvenient. Being able to draw your own pattern inside the program would have made this a 10.

Implementation - 10/10 - This program can access all pictures, archived or not; it has a fast algorithm; it has truly amazing screen-wrapping that can even be turned off; memory usage is relatively low; and it is just a fascinating program.

Overall - 38/40 - If you've ever been fascinated by the Game of Life like me, you'll like this program. If you're looking for a playable game, this will probably disappoint you, but I think everyone should give it a try.

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