Star Fire, Arcade

Exidy‘s Star Fire is one of the earliest colour video games ever made. It was first released into arcades in 1979, when most arcade games of the time used black and white displays.

So, seeing a full colour video game – especially one that ripped-off Star Wars – was a delight to many games-players at the time.

That said: Star Fire‘s graphics are extremely basic, and the screen refresh is slow, so it looks a bit of a mess nowadays.

Another first for Star Fire was that it was also the first ever video game to have a high score table, onto which players could enter their names. Few people know this, though, because Star Fire is an obscure retro gaming curiosity at best, and not much more.

Star Fire remains obscure, in spite of its status as one of the earliest (possibly the first ever) colour video games. In 1979 the game struggled to find a market. And that reason – I think – is because the gameplay is no good. There’s no real structure to it, or rules that allow skilled play. Dodging enemy fire is almost impossible, and the game was basically a “pump more money in and play for longer” type of arcade machine, rather than a game that required skill, like other old school retro-gaming classics such as Space Invaders or Pac-Man.

I won’t give it any more of a kicking than that though. Star Fire is worth a look if you’re interested in video games history. It really is rather important in that sense.

One good thing, that I will close on, is that the rights holders of Star Fire (and its sequel, Star Fire II) have released them for free use in emulators, so you can download and play them for free in MAME legally. If you want to. Which is nice.

More: Star Fire on Wikipedia

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