Syntax Software

Status: No Download, Findability: 2/5

Our next game is slightly obscure, and was briefly advertised by US magazines in 1983. Thanks to Peter Weighill for the heads up.

The game was called Bubbles, and has you controlling Clarence the Clam, who must avoid and destroy menacing creatures of the deep. It was a clone of Centipede, and according to the coder Randal Linden – it was released. Some shops in Torono were selling it, but it is unknown if it ever made it to the US.

It is possible that Syntax didn’t last long, and Bubbles only made it out in limited numbers. Also in their line up was a utility called Scribbler, which also seems to be missing. However, Marco van Vlaanderen  found Scribbler on an old tape in 2019.

We don’t usually host utilities that are missing, but have added to this entry as a curiosity and to ensure its preserved and available for others. Confirms it was released too :) Csaba Virag found a disk copy later, and this has been added to the download.

Do you know anything more about the Bubbles game though, and can you help us preserve it?

Contributions: Peter Weighill, Randy Linden, Marco van Vlaanderen, Csaba Virag

Supporting content

Available downloads

Creator speaks

Randy Linden talks about his game:

“Bubbles was a centipede clone and it *was* released by Syntax Software — shops in Toronto carried it, although I don’t know if it ever made it to the US.

IIRC, Syntax closed roughly a year later.

I do have a copy *somewhere* (and the packaging is exactly as in the article on your website — it’s a thin cardboard “sleeve” with a pop-out tab on the top (so the packages could be hung on a wall-mounted rack) — I vaguely recall there was a small white paper insert with instructions, etc., but I’m not positive.

Unfortunately, I haven’t seen the game in many, many years… It’s hard to believe that almost 34 years have gone by!

BTW, the game was all hand-written 6502 — back then compilers, C and even linkers weren’t in common use — particularly on the C64 … even assemblers were uncommon until a few years later.

Scribbler was a paint program which had some nice features, especially considering the timeframe — things like “paint can fill”, etc.”

Update history

  • 02/05/24 – Added disk version of Scribbler.
  • 04/02/19 – Added Scribbler utility
  • 28/03/17 – Notes added from coder
Posted in: GTW64 archive | Tagged: | 2 Comments

2 Responses to Bubbles

    • Hi Randy. Great you post here to C64 fans. Wanted to ask something. It may be a longshot, but since you worked in Canada, did you ever hear about the importer/publisher called “New Horizon Group” from North Vancouver BC? I am trying to dig out some info about the company but only found some originals, not much about the company (besides their address).

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