Xenon 1, Oric

Xenon 1 by IJK Software is a very early shoot ’em up for the Oric 1 home computer. It shows off what the Oric is capable of, which is: not very much… 😉

Of course I’m being unfair because Xenon 1 was released in 1983, when home computer software was “embryonic” at best, and archaic, unplayable rubbish at worst, and Xenon 1 is quite playable. It’s definitely not unmitigated horseshit! 🙂

Xenon 1 a shooter that is very derivative, of course. Playing like a cross between Galaxian and Phoenix, with a variety of different stages (although all involve shooting up the screen at things). Plus there’s a Phoenix-like battle with the mother ship at the end, where you have to shoot its nuclear reactor to destroy it.

Graphically Xenon 1 is nice and crisp, and strikingly colourful. I’ve always liked the Oric character set, and it suits this game perfectly.

There are ten different skill settings, and Xenon 1 also has a high score table. It’s a pity there’s no moving starfield (or anything else that might give a feeling of vertical movement), but then I guess you can’t have everything if you’re an Oric owner…

If you owned an Oric in 1983 then Xenon 1 was about as close as you could get to having an arcade cabinet in your own home. Not because the game was anything special, but because decent games on the Oric were few and far between… 🙂

More: Xenon 1 on Oric.org

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