Laser Squad, ZX Spectrum

Another Julian Gollop classic – Laser Squad was one of the earliest squad-based tactical combat video games, released in 1988, and was originally developed for the ZX Spectrum (and later converted to various other systems).

Laser Squad expands upon ideas Gollop developed in his earlier game Rebelstar Raiders. It’s a futuristic, science fiction-style combat game where everything moves in turns and all the characters (enemy included) have a limited number of action points (AP) to spend per round. Moving, turning, shooting, picking stuff up, all takes AP, and when a character’s AP has run out he then has to wait for the next turn.

A number of turn-based strategy norms developed from this game, such as weapons loadouts, deployment, “snapshots” (being ready to shoot when an enemy walks into your line of fire), and “aim” shots (shots that miss less often). And Gollop continued to add to them and refine them as his development career went on.

Laser Squad was where the gaming world really sat up and took notice though. And this great game was later given a fantasy make-over in the form of Lords of Chaos. Grabs from which I will be posting soon.

More: Laser Squad on Wikipedia

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