Conqueror is a 1988 release from Superior Software, designed and programmed by Jonathan Griffiths. It’s a 3D tank game that was released as a sequel to Zarch – and it uses the same game engine.
David Braben‘s 1987 shoot ’em up, Zarch, is probably the most well-known Archimedes game around. It was an early release for the Acorn computer and it really made the gaming world sit up and take notice.
Citadel was a 1985 release for the BBC Micro by Superior Software. It was written by Michael Jakobsen.
The late Jeremy Smith‘s classic gravity game, Thrust, came out first on the BBC Micro in 1986, before being converted to every other platform on the planet.
The classic Elite originated on the BBC Micro.
David Braben and Ian Bell‘s space combat/trading game was first released by Acornsoft in 1984.
The BBC Micro version was the very first version of Jeremy Smith and Peter Irvin‘s classic Exile, released through Superior Software in 1988.
Yes, it has gaudy graphics, and yes: the gameplay takes some getting your head around, but Exile is undoubtedly a stunning piece of game design and world-building. Considering the limitations of the host machine.
At its core is a simple gravity game where you control a small spaceman. When you start exploring the caverns you begin to realise that there’s a whole ‘nother world out there. And some very annoying birds…
Exile is an extraordinary gaming achievement for a 32K machine. BBC Model B’s with more RAM could load an enhanced version of the game, with a larger playing area, sampled sound effects and digitised speech.
This classic BBC game inspired a whole series of side-scrolling shooters throughout the 1990s, and was re-made by its original creators several times for other platforms.
The even better Commodore 64 version, by the original programmers (with graphics by Paul Docherty), can be seen here.
Jeremy Smith and Peter Irvin‘s groundbreaking Exile first came out on the BBC Model B in 1988 and was later converted to other systems.
Including the Commodore 64.
Of all the versions of Exile I’ve played I’d have to say that the Commodore 64 version is arguably the best. Because the graphics are so nice. Because the gravity, inertia and feeling of flying around on a jet pack, in a free form, windy world, are just so good – so ahead of their time.
The controls are a bit weird (for picking up and using objects), granted, but the speed with which your man zips around, and the control you can take over him (if you know what you’re doing) is absolutely tremendous.
Descending lower and lower into the caverns, the adversaries become more vociferous in their aggressiveness, many can fire rockets at you, so you’ve got to be on your toes. A quicksave slot in a emulator helps, because playing Exile without reloading is marginally less fun than messing around and experimenting with the in-game physics.
Exile is actually one of the first really sophisticated gravity games ever released on home computer systems. The two designers, Smith and Irvin, definitely created gaming brilliance.
David Braben‘s Virus was originally developed and released as “Zarch“ on the Acorn Archimedes in 1987, then later converted to other home computers under its more well-known title, Virus, in 1988.
I like the Amiga version. It’s fast and smooth, and fairly easy to control. Well, actually, Virus is notoriously difficult to control, but if you practise you’ll rack the points up.
It’s worth a look to see the cool 3D graphics.
More: Virus on Wikipedia