Articles in the "Arcade Games" Category

Cosmic Patrol

Cosmic Patrol was a TRS-80 game written by Jake Commander, probably better known for his “Commander 80” column in 80 Micro. It was published by Wayne Green’s software company, Instant Software, costing $14.95 for a tape version and $19.95 for a disk version.

Cosmic Patrol appears to have been based on Cosmic Conflict!, a 1978 game written for the Magnavox Odyssey 2 home video game system. The goal is simple: destroy 15 vessels in the Quelon fleet before running out of E-units. Each game begins with 999 E-units. Each shot fired, whether it hits anything or not, costs ten E units.

Time Runner

Time Runner is a TRS-80 game written by Yves Lempereur, the seventh of nine games that he wrote for the TRS-80. It was inspired by Amidar, an arcade game created by Konami in 1981.

Funsoft released three versions of Time Runner for different platforms:

  • a TRS-80 version, written by Yves Lempereur, was released in 1982
  • an Atari 400/800 version, also written by Yves Lempereur, was released in 1982
  • a Commodore 64 version, written by Scott Maxwell and Troy Lyndon, was released in 1983

The Eliminator

The Eliminator, distributed by Adventure International, was an adaptation of the arcade game Defender, released by Williams Electronics in 1980. Adventure International sold The Eliminator (the definite article “the” was part of the title) for several computers:

  • the TRS-80 version, written by Wayne Westmoreland and Terry Gilman, was released in 1981
  • the Apple II version, written by John Anderson, was also released in 1981
  • the Atari 400/800 version, written by Steve Coleman, was released in 1982

Here is the description of the TRS-80 version of The Eliminator from a 1981 Adventure International catalog:

Sea Dragon

Sea Dragon, written by Wayne Westmoreland and Terry Gilman, was one of the most popular games for the TRS-80. It was released in 1982 by Adventure International, which also sold versions for other computers:

  • the Apple II version, written by John Anderson, was released in 1982.
  • the Atari 400/800 version, written by Russ Wetmore (Star Systems Software), was released in 1982.
  • the TRS-80 Color Computer version, written by Jim Hurd (Coniah Software), was released in 1983.
  • the IBM PC version, written by Dan Rollins, was released in 1983.
  • the Commodore 64 version, written by David H. Simmons, was released in 1984.

As far as I know, Sea Dragon was the TRS-80 game that was adapted to the most computers.

Time Bandit

Time Bandit, written by Bill Dunlevy and Harry Lafnear, was a TRS-80 Model I/III game first released by Computer Shack in 1983. Computer Shack (which changed its name to Michtron in 1984) also released versions of Time Bandit for a number of other computers:

  • the TRS-80 Color Computer (also released in 1983)
  • the Sanyo MBC-550 (released in 1984)
  • the Atari ST (released in 1986)
  • the Amiga (released in 1988)
  • the IBM-PC (released in 1988)

The Atari ST and Amiga versions in particular remain quite highly regarded today.

Rear Guard

The original version of Rear Guard was written by Neil Larimer for the Apple II. It was released by Adventure International, Scott Adams' company, which also commissioned versions for other computers:

  • John Anderson wrote the Atari 400/800 version
  • Jim Hurd wrote the TRS-80 Color Computer version
  • Wayne Westmoreland and Terry Gilman wrote the TRS-80 Model I/III version

One Adventure International advertisement described Rear Guard this way:

Starfighter

Starfighter, written by Sparky Starks, falls somewhere between an arcade game and a simulation. Far more than a shoot-em-up game, the incredibly detailed scenario in Starfighter lends itself to a game that can be played for hours. Although a unique game, Starfighter has some similarities to Star Raiders, a 1979 game for the Atari 800 that was written by Doug Neubauer.

Sparky Starks later wrote a version of Starfighter for the Atari 400/800 using the name Destiny: The Cruiser. A new name was required because Adventure International had already sold the rights to the name Starfighter to be used by the movie The Last Starfighter.

The goal in Starfighter is to pilot a spacecraft, the SC-78503 Starfighter, and destroy hostile enemy spacecraft. From a description in an Adventure International catalog:

Games by Wayne Westmoreland and Terry Gilman

Wayne Westmoreland and Terry Gilman wrote some excellent games for the TRS-80 from 1981 to 1983, including Sea Dragon and Armored Patrol. In 1995, Wayne Westmoreland released all of those games into the public domain.

Here is a description, written by Wayne Westmoreland in 1995, for each of the games.

Rally

Rally was written by J. Weaver Jr. (Factory Programming) and distributed by Soft Sector Marketing. Rally was based on Rally-X, which was released by Namco in 1980.

The goal in Rally is to collect all of the flags in a maze, while avoiding “enemy cars”. Touching an enemy car causes you to lose your life.

Devil's Tower

Devil’s Tower was written by John Olsen and released by Fantastic Software in 1982.

The player starts the game on the left, separated from the Attackers by a tall mountain in the center of the screen. The goal is to shoot over the mountain and destroy the Attackers on the other side. To complicate matters, the Attackers shoot back at you, often displaying an uncanny ability to predict where you are moving.