Articles in the "Arcade Games" Category
Scarfman was based on the arcade game Pac-Man, which was released by Namco in 1980. It was written by Philip Oliver and distributed by the Cornsoft Group. The Cornsoft Group also released a version of Scarfman for the Color Computer.
The game starts with you (the “Scarfman”) at the bottom of the screen. Like Pac-Man, the goal of Scarfman is to eat all of the dots on the screen. You earn points for every dot eaten.
Although there were many Frogger adaptations for the TRS-80, this Cornsoft Group version was licensed by Sega and was the “official” Frogger. The premise of Frogger is simple. The goal is to guide as many frogs as possible back to their homes, crossing a busy road and dangerous river in the process.
The TRS-80 version of Frogger offers the choice of five difficulty levels and an option to play background music. The famous theme music, taken from the Japanese children’s song “Inu No Omawarisan”, is the same as used in the original arcade version. Most TRS-80 games played music during title screens and sound effects during the game. Frogger was one of the few to also play background music during the game, not an easy feat on a computer with no sound controller.
is probably the TRS-80 game with the most bizarre premise. It was written by J. Weaver Jr. (Factory Programming) and distributed by Soft Sector Marketing. Outhouse
was later rewritten for the Color Computer by the same author, but sold through Computer Shack.
Nukliex was written in 1984 by Dennis Lo, and released through JMG Software International. Although the game’s title screen identifies itself as “Nukliex”, it was always advertised as “Nucliex”.
When you start Nukliex, you can select a difficulty level between 1 and 10. You control a ship located at the bottom of the screen that fires shots toward the top. Asteroids and aliens attack you from above. This is pretty standard for most games of this type. But unlike other games, you can also move your ship not just side to side but also up and down. Your ship also has a shield that will protect it when you press the ENTER key. The shield takes time to regenerate itself, so you need to use it sparingly.
was based on the arcade game Space Panic
, released by Universal in 1980. The original version was written for the Apple II by Ben Serki in 1981 and sold by Brøderbund Software. There were also versions of Apple Panic
sold for the Atari 400/800 and the IBM PC (both written by Olaf Lubeck) and for the Commodore VIC-20 (by Creative Software). The TRS-80 version was written by Yves Lempereur in 1982 and published by Funsoft, the fifth of nine games that he wrote for the TRS-80.
Galaxy Invasion Plus
was an update to Galaxy Invasion
with a few new features added. An important difference from the older game is the voices. The speech include “Galaxy Invasion” (at the title screen), “Prepare to die, human!” (as the game starts), and “Game over, Player 1” (when the game ends). Other phrases that are used include: “You’re dead!”, “Flagship alert!”, and “Extra ship!” If you achieve a high score, the game says, “Great Score, Player 1”. But if you beat the top score, it says “Super Score, Player 1”. The speech is very clear and one of the best examples of voice in a TRS-80 game.
was written by Arthur Gleckler and released in 1982. It was the final TRS-80 game released by Big Five Software, and only one of two not written by Bill Hogue. Weerd
was released near the very end of the TRS-80 game market.
Defense Command was the last TRS-80 game written by Bill Hogue. It was very loosely based by the arcade game Defender, which Williams Electronics released in 1980.
Defense Command has the best and clearest voices of any Big Five Software game. It also has very clever graphics and transitions between different screens. In my opinion, Defense Command is the most impressive of the Big Five Software games for the TRS-80.
was written by Jeff Zinn, and it was the first game distributed by Big Five Software that wasn’t written by Bill Hogue. Stellar Escort
has a very distinctive look because of the flashy transition effects when changing screens. There is always something in movement on the screen. Stellar Escort
has a number of sound effects, but no music or voices.
was loosely based on Astro Fighter
, which was released by Data East in 1980. In many ways, Cosmic Fighter looks similar to Galaxy Invasion
. However, the similarities are superficial and the games are very different. Your goal in Cosmic Fighter
is to shoot the aliens as they descend from the top of the screen. Unlike Galaxy Invasion
, you have a limited fuel supply which is used up as you move and shoot. A gauge at the top of the screen indicates how much fuel you have left. Your ship can be destroyed either by hitting an alien or shot or by simply running out of fuel. You are not likely to run out of fuel in the earlier levels of the game, but it does becomes an increasing problem in the later levels.