Posts in the “Software” Category - page 5
Apple Panic 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”.
Weerd was written by Arthur Gleckler and released in 1982. It was the final TRS‑80 game released by Big Five, and only the second one 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 games for the TRS‑80.
Stellar Escort 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.
Cosmic Fighter 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.
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 1 or 3.
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 instead.
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).