Written by John Hollis and first published by Quicksilva for the 48K ZX Spectrum in 1983, Time-Gate was the first Spectrum game I ever played and is a simple first-person space shooter – basically a Star Raiders clone with a few differences.
Programmed by Doug Anderson and published by A&F Software in 1983, Cylon Attack is an early cockpit-based space shooter for the BBC Micro that still plays quite well today.
Santron is a Christmas-themed vertically-scrolling shoot ’em up created by Sarah Jane Avory and first released for the Commodore 64 in 2019.
Sarah programmed the game and created all the graphics and sound herself, and it is very good. Santron is actually a variation of Sarah‘s previous game, Neutron.
Neutron is a vertically-scrolling shoot ’em up created by Sarah Jane Avory and first released for the Commodore 64 in 2019.
It was created for the 2019 RGCD C64 16KB cartridge game development competition, and is actually a re-coding of a game Sarah created in the 1980s but that went unreleased (because the publisher she was tied to at the time went out of business, before the game’s release), and was eventually lost (she regrettably threw away the disks with the source code after moving house years later).
Also known as Defender II, Stargate is the 1981 sequel to Williams Electronics‘ Defender, which was released earlier the same year.
Stargate was designed and programmed by Eugene Jarvis and Larry DeMar of Vid Kidz, for Williams, and it features the same superfast blasting action as Defender, but with subtle differences.
Looking at Death Star Interceptor now you might be surprised to discover that it was a “number one” game when it first came out in 1985.
And – while it did make it to the top of the games charts back then – the charts were not very reliable, and the game actually wasn’t that good, even though it does officially license use of the Star Wars theme, for a warbly Speccy interpretation of John Williams‘ classic music.
Death Star Interceptor was a case of style over content, and also maybe a touch of Star Wars fever as well. These are thoughts I had about the game when I first played it back in 1985.
The PC MS-DOS version of Tau Ceti was coded by Derek Baker at Comtec and published by CRL Group (Thunder Mountain in North America) in 1987.
It features gaudy, four-colour, CGA graphics, but is otherwise the Tau Ceti we know and love.
The 1986 Atari ST conversion of Tau Ceti – by Ron De Santi of Comtec – is much faster than the 8-bit versions and therefore more challenging. And what a brilliant challenge it is!