Laser Zone, Commodore 64

Laser Zone is an interesting early Jeff Minter game. He first released it in 1983 for the VIC-20, with Commodore 64, Dragon 32, and ZX Spectrum versions following soon after.

The game is an X/Y shooter, where you control two guns on either side of two walls, each shooting outwards. Pushing left and right on the joystick moves the gun on the X axis and pushing up and down moves the gun on the Y axis. Pressing fire makes both guns shoot simultaneously.

Enemies creep down the screen towards both walls and if they reach one they will destroy one of the guns. So you’re basically moving two separate gun turrets on walls and shooting bullets both horizontally and vertically, trying to stop enemy sprites from reaching you.

Playing the game single-player is a bit of a mind-f**k as it’s impossible to truly multi-task when you’re controlling two things simultaneously, so you end up switching from one gun at a time and hoping that you can reach the most pressing enemies quickest. It’s kinda fun, but it hurts the brain a bit too much; trying to divide your thoughts between two different guns. It’s a good game for demonstrating that true multi-tasking doesn’t work in humans…

Where Laser Squad really comes to life, though, is when playing two-player cooperatively. With a second human player each person can control one of the two guns separately, and you can both shoot away at enemies happily, without breaking your minds in the process.

More: Laser Zone on CSDb

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