Articles in the "Software" Category
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.
Many people remember the distinctive prelude to Attack Force
, which was obviously inspired by the opening to the The Outer Limits
television show. The final part of the prelude takes the video screen out of focus and makes a buzzing sound (without any audio amplifier attached). This effect is created by rapidly switching between normal and double-wide video mode, destabilizing the video synchronization on a Model I or III. The Model 4 features a more robust video system and the video just becomes fuzzy. The buzzing sound is created by rapidly toggling the cassette relay.
Many people thought that Galaxy Invasion
was based on Space Invaders
(including a reviewer for 80 Microcomputing
), but this was a common misconception. Galaxy Invasion was based on the arcade game Galaxian
, which was released by Namco in 1979.
Meteor Mission 2
, also known as Meteor Mission II
, was based on Taito’s 1979 Lunar Rescue
, although it differs from it in many ways. Despite the name, Meteor Mission 2 is not a sequel to Bill Hogue’s earlier Meteor Mission
. Amusingly, the first Alpha Products advertisement to feature Meteor Mission 2
mistakenly used pictures from Meteor Mission
was Bill Hogue’s first TRS-80 game. It is usually not included in listings of Big Five Software games, and some sources have denied that it was ever sold. But it was advertised in the August, September, and October 1980 issues of 80 Microcomputing
. It seems to have been withdrawn at that point, and it never appeared in any future advertisements. I don’t know how many copies of Meteor Mission
were ever sold (I’ve only ever seen one copy). Unlike the other Big Five games, there was only a Model I cassette version, but it would work on a 4K Level I computer.