Available for $21 from Fury Unlimited (www.furyunlimited.com)

Take it from someone who knows – when you start out learning to program on a new platform, you try to pick a project that is not overly complex. Making your first project a homebrewed 3D shooter like Quake will have you reaching for aspirin bottles and likely pulling the plug after a few days. Better to stick with either a puzzle game, where moves and such are rigidly predefined, or, better yet, a card game.

This also separates the men from the boys when it comes to programming. A lot of projects will start with something like blackjack. No game logic or collision detection, just read inputs and do some math. But the really ambitious ones will reach for something a little more involved for their first project. You will try harder because you want to see this neat idea of yours come to life.

Vector 21 is not George Pelonis’ first project. Not by a long shot. He’s been making games for the Vectrex for a few years now, including I, Cyborg, a game harder than a flash-frozen Christmas fruitcake. I’m not reviewing that one because I haven’t even gotten past the first level yet, so I don’t think I have seen enough to give it a fair review. But Vector 21, I have. It’s easy to pick up, and will quickly suck you in.

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