Texas Instrument calculators





The road to Game Boy Advance development started with Texas Instruments calculators. The first generation of TI graphing calculators were equipped with a Z80 processor running at 6 MHz. The nice thing was that you could actually program in Z80 assembly for these calculators, and create some really cool games. The major drawback was the LCD, which wasn't designed to handle fast animated graphics. For instance, if the background scrolled, the screen tended to get very blurry.

I programmed mainly for the TI-85 and the TI-86 calculators. These are now a bit obselete as TI seems to focus on the calculators with flash memory (TI-83+, TI-89, TI-92+ and TI-Voyage 200). This is a bit sad, as I think the TI-86 is the best TI calculator on the market! Below you will find the games and programs I created for these two calculators. I also did some games for the original TI-92 (which had a Motorola 68000 processor), but they're now obsolete in so many ways, I didn't want to put them on this page.

Some additional projects I worked on include the "operating system/shell" Usgard for the TI-85, which I created together with the group Icarus Productions. This OS/shell is required to run most of the TI-85 versions of the games below. Some TI-85 programs can also be run with ZShell, the original OS/shell that started the whole assembly programming for TI calculators back in 1995. Both Usgard and ZShell can be found at www.ticalc.org, the source to Texas Instrument calculator programming!

None of my TI-86 games/programs requires any additional programs to run. Instead, you can use the built-in command Asm(. For instance, to run ZTetris, you type Asm(ztetris. In most of the games below, the source code is included as well. The only files you should send to the calculator it those with the extension .85p and .86p (and, in some cases, .85s and .86s files).

ZTetris
TI-85 (Usgard), TI-86

The classical tetris game. No rules needed to explain, everyone knows them. This clone works a bit as the classical Nintendo Game Boy version. Some features are: Highscore table (with full name entering possible), teacher key, linkplay, cool background patterns (16 different), start with trashline and other options.

Sqrxz
TI-85 (Usgard), TI-86

A Mario Bros style game with smooth scrolling. Control Sqrxz (a bug) through worlds containing spike traps, falling bridges and nasty enemies. More of a puzzle game than an action game, as many levels require clevering thinking to be solved!!

All levels are stored as external variables, and a level editor (not a good one) for PC (DOS) is included as well.

BoulderDash
TI-85 (ZShell), TI-86

Who doesn't know this old C64 classic? Control Rockford through 16 caves among boulders, jewels, deadly fireflies and butterflies. Face the mystic amoeba and the magic walls. Can you take enough jewels to finish the cave? It will require many tries, and your brain will be overheated...

Squarez
TI-85 (ZShell), TI-86

A small, somewhat addictive game that reminds of Tetris. The goal is to connect different pieces into 3x3 blocks as fast as possible. Not as easy as it sounds, because a lot of trash from previous pieces will be left on the screen. The original game was made for PC by Adept Software.

Turing Machine Sim.
TI-86

A program that simulates a Turing Machine. Made for personal use during a theory of computation course, but I figured someone else might find some use for it. A very userfriendly program - the machine is entered in the TI-Basic editor.

Labby
TI-85 (ZShell)

My first TI assembly game! You're trapped in a maze filled with ghosts. You must escape before they find you. You don't have any weapons and must avoid the ghosts at the same time as you must find the exit. Luckily, there is no time pressure. There are four 23x23 mazes, each harder than the previous one. One suggestion: draw a map...

Important: You should run the level file, not the game file!

Game Wizard
TI-85 (ZShell)

The ultimate cheater. You can cheat in almost all games (basically only grayscale games won't work), in almost any possible ways. More lifes, more time, more ammo, lesser enemies? No problem. Search for changes in the memory, and you'll probably find what you want... Can be used for 'good' purposes as well. (Note: Only works in ZShell 4.0, not Usgard!)

Bomb Sweeper
TI-85 (Usgard)

An evil terrorist has reached the city and threats it with bombs! Your mission is to find all bombs before it's too late! This game is a clone of a Nintendo Game&Watch game. There are 35 unique levels in the game - you have to push the walls in order to reach the bombs. Not always as easy as it sounds...

Note: This game uses the Usgard WinLib which was later discontinued. In order to play this game you will have to find a copy of Usgard 1.1 (an old version).

Important: You must have purchased a TI-Graph Link cable in order to install these programs onto your calculator! While it is possible to enter a TI-86 game onto a calculator without a link cable, this is very tedious work and I won't describe here how to do it.

Also, please note that I have not written any games for the TI-82, TI-83 or TI-83+ calculator. Many of the games below have been ported to these calculators by other people (with my permission). Those versions can be found at www.ticalc.org. Please don't mail me with any questions regarding those version!

I also created a popular online "school" about ZShell (and later, Usgard) programming. Because the TI-85 is no longer produced, I doubt many people will find them useful, but for historical reasons they're still available: The ZShell School and The Usgard School.