Devil's Tower

written by Matthew Reed

Title:Devil's Tower
Author:John Olsen
Publisher:Fantastic Software
Compatibility:Model I and III, disk and tape
Fantastic Software advertisement

Fantastic Software advertisement from the December 1982 issue of 80 Micro

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.

At the start of every round, the entire area between the mountain and left side of the screen is available for movement. But as time runs out, a portion of the left side of the screen fills in. This makes it far more difficult to move and avoid shots from the Attackers.

Devil's Tower title screen

Title screen

Devil's Tower instructions


One unusual aspect of Devil’s Tower is the method used to shoot. Like most games, the SPACEBAR fires. Unlike most games, the angle of the shots is controlled by changing the aiming angle using the UP and DOWN arrows. The aiming choices are 1, 2, 3, 4, and DRILL. The higher the value, the more horizontal the shot. DRILL behaves like a 5 as far as angle is concerned but also allows you to tunnel a short distance into the mountain. This can be useful for avoiding the shots of the Attackers.

At the start of the game, the Attackers are easy targets to hit because they don’t move. But they soon start moving and the game difficulty increases every time the screen is cleared. Attackers that move make the game far more difficult.

Devil's Tower

Five Attackers start the game

Devil's Tower

The Protector and Robot Climber threaten

Another complication are the Robot Climbers. They climb to the top of the mountain and lob shots down at you. From their perch at the top of the mountain, they are difficult to hit.

Periodically a Protector appears at the top left of the screen. It moves slowly across the screen with the intention of erecting a Force Field over the Attackers, or fixing holes if a Force Field is already present. The only way to stop the Protector is to shoot it before it can erect a Force Field.

A Force Field stops all of your shots but allows the Attacker’s shots to pass through. The only way to punch holes in the Force Field is by hitting it repeatedly with your shots.

Devil's Tower

Notice the Force Field and drilled area

Devil's Tower

Game is over

I have always liked Devil’s Tower. It is a deceptively simple game that is challenging without becoming frustrating.

Categories: Arcade Games, Software


C.E. Forman says:

John Olsen, if you’re out there, I have the original cover artwork that was done for this game.