Star Ship for the Atari 2600 : Hyperspace action!

Developper : Atari

Publisher : Atari

Year : 1977

Type : Full game

Game Description

Star Ship is a first-person space shooter and one of the earliest in the history of video games. It was realized in 1977, during the launch of the Atari 2600, along with the eight other games.

Like many launch titles, Star Ship is an adaptation of Starship 1, an arcade game by Atari that came out a few months before the launch of the Atari 2600. Under Sears branding, it is known as Outerspace.

In all game, at least one player takes control of space aircraft. Computer beeps and sound engines are also heard, adding immersion to the game, especially if you play it with light turned off.

Starship has three main modes, each with their own variation.

In Star Ship, you control a spacecraft bearing the same name in a first-person shooting action. The goal is to shoot as many enemy’s space objects as possible before 2 minutes and 15 seconds have passed. These spaces objects come in different shapes.

  • Star Fighter (a blue ship that look like a Klingon ship)
  • Flying Saucer (a pink circle shaped space craft)
  • Space Robot (a flying, insect like pink machine

In order to destroy thesis enemies, you must aim at it right in the center to lock in and then shoot your father laser. If the difficulty switch is at “A,” you must anticipate the enemy position with the lock-on feature and shoot before.

Along them, you must avoid asteroids going through your view. These objects cannot be destroyed. Getting hit by any of these objects will cost your points.it is in the centre of your aim.

The variation mainly deal with the movement speed and the number of objects on the screen at the same time. However, there is a small group of them that add a player-controlled object. This object is a space module, which can be moved around the screen. In these variations, each player alternates between the Star Ship and the star modules

The goal is to score points by shooting the modules and avoiding other computer-controlled objects at the same time.

The second mode is Warp Drive. In this mode, you must accumulate as much parsec as possible as you rush through outer space. This is an early example of a time trial game, where you race against the clock in order to go as far as possible. No enemy’s object appears, but asteroids may appear from time to time and must be avoided, else you will lose one parsec with each collision.

The last mode is a simple adaptation of Atari Lunar Lander (1979) that goes by the same name. The objective is to land your lander on the moon to score a point. Unlike the other mode, you are actually seeing your spacecraft.

The moon moves around the screen and you must catch it by going on the top of it and press the fire button to successfully land on it. On later variation, a meteor showers is active and will destroy your lander if one of the small meteors collides with you, costing a point. It is also possible for a second player to control the movement of the moon.

Star Ship playthrough

The playthrough use the original version of Star Ship. The goal is to play all the different modes of the game at the highest difficulty possible and avoid any collision with the space’s objects.

The mode played is Star Ship, Star Ship with a player-controlled space modules, Warp Drive and Lunar Lander.

Colour cycling, typical in early Atari game, is also included.

No cheats were used. TAS tools were used to produce a high-quality gameplay.

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