In April 1982, the computer magazine 'Computing Today' published a multi-system, modular computer game called 'The Valley' by Henry Budget, Peter Freebrey, Peter Green and Ron Harris (see below). Although written for the Commodore PET, the annotated listing allowed (fairly) easy adaptation to other systems, and my friends and I set to work converting it to the Sharp MZ-80K and (in my case) the BBC Microcomputer. We spent hours and hours playing it - and now you can, too!

I wrote this version in the very wonderful BBC Basic for Windows, as a way of flexing my programming muscles after years of disuse. This is now a full-blown Retro experience, which you play with authentic PET graphics or the commercial BBC version with fancy(ish) defined characters. You can also add or remove the various variations that were later published in the magazine. And what's more, there is a PDF containing scans of the original magazine pages!

You can choose to download a ZIPped bundle containing the programme (for Windows only, I'm afraid), source code and scans giving the background story and the Valley Variations, or just the programme by itself. The other file is the complete annotated BASIC listing for the Commodore PET, scanned from Computing today magazine, if you fancy having a go at converting it yourself!

Click one of the links below - and travel back to the Golden Age of Home Computing!

Download The Valley bundle here (17MB).

Download The Valley programme (without documentation) here (128K)

Download The Valley complete BASIC listing here (15.6MB)

NEW! There was a terrific article inspired by this page posted at Register Hardware by Tony Smith - read it here. In the comments is something which finally sheds light on the original programmers:

"OK, so for those who aren't getting long in the tooth, here's a bit more background! I'm Henry Budgett, but back then I was the Editor of CT, and there were originally four in the programming team for the Valley: myself, Peter Freebrey, Peter Green and Ron Harris. The two Peter's did the clever stuff, I did the stuff round the edges and all the conversion into what we called Universal BASIC plus the article and Ron essentially project managed as he was the Publisher.
We never really imagined that the thing would take off in the way that it did - it was the spark that launched the whole of CT's software operation that I moved onto after the magazine passed into Peter Green's hands. Somewhere I have every single copy I ever worked on from Issue 1 - if they haven't turned to dust!
The whole story would take far too long to unravel as much time (and beer) has passed since those heady days in Charing Cross Road. Three of us, Ron has long disappeared, still occasionally meet for a Rulers of Light reunion dinner but it's a mark of our passing youth that the old Pizza Express in Soho no longer hears the standard order for pizza of choice plus two toppings for starters (served with bottle of wine per person) followed by a second round of pizza and then pudding, coffees and brandy... Try that now and it would be call for three ambulances!"

Incidentally, another reconstruction for Windows of The Valley can be found here: This has colour and user-defined graphics, so looks a bit fancier (if less authentic!).