Space Colony

written by Matthew Reed

Title:Space Colony
Author:Kim Watt
Publisher:Breeze Computing
Released:1980
Compatibility:Model I tape and disk
Sound:Yes
Voice:No
Joystick:No
Space Colony advertisement

Space Colony from a 1981 Adventure International catalog

Space Colony was a TRS‑80 adaptation of the 1978 Taito arcade game hit Space Invaders. It was written by Kim Watt and sold through his own company, Breeze Computing. Kim Watt was better known in the TRS‑80 world for his disk utility, Super Utility. Space Colony was also sold by Adventure International for $14.95 for the Model I disk version, and $9.95 for the Model I tape version.1

Interestingly, Space Colony wasn’t the first version of Space Invaders that Kim Watt wrote for the TRS‑80. He had earlier written Invaders, a game distributed by Level IV Products. Space Colony was a good rendition of Space Invaders and had superior graphics and game play to Invaders. But it had one very unusual feature: it was one of the few commercial high-resolution Model I games.

Space Colony normal instructions screen

Normal instructions screen

Space Colony high-resolution instructions screen

80-GRAFIX instructions screen

The tape included in the Space Colony package contained both a normal version of Space Colony and also a version designed for the 80-GRAFIX high-resolution add-on. Both versions played exactly the same, but the 80-GRAFIX version offered a high-resolution representation of the game screen.

Space Colony normal game play

Normal game play

Space Colony high-resolution gameplay

80-GRAFIX game play

Space Colony and Kim Watt’s other games were soon overshadowed by the success of Super Utility. Space Colony wasn’t advertised beyond early 1981.

In 1986, PowerSoft collected four Kim Watt games (including Space Colony) in a package called “The Kim Watt Games Disk.” As far as I know, the high-resolution version of Space Colony wasn’t included in that package.


  1. Thanks to William Howard for finding the entry for Space Colony in a 1981 Adventure International catalog. 
Categories: Arcade Games

Comments

David Sutherland says:

I had not heard of any commercial games from that time that took advantage of any of the hi-res boards. How many others were there?

Mark McDougall says:

I have a handful of commercial games for the PCG-80 programmable character generator. However, I’m not 100% sure they were all sold with hires support, or modified by users.

Mark McDougall says:

Software archives from Ira’s site appear to contain the source for Kim’s Space Colony in a text file! I haven’t had a chance to try to assemble it…

WILLIAM HOWARD says:

Here is a Adventure International ad listing space colony.
http://gamasutra.com/db_area/images/feature/182224/advint_1981_p2.jpg

Matthew Reed (TRS-80.org) says:

Thanks for finding the Adventure International entry for Space Colony. I have updated the article to reflect this.

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