Space War (Spectral Associates)

Space War (Spectral Associates) intro screen #1 Space War (Spectral Associates) intro screen #2
Space War (Spectral Associates) intro screens.
Space War (Spectral Associates) game screen #1 Space War (Spectral Associates) game screen #2
Space War (Spectral Associates) game screens.

Space War is an expanded version of the original Spacewar! game originally done in 1961/1962 on mini-computers, and then as a vector arcade games in 1977 (with versions by both Cinematronics and Vectorbeam). Unlike the originals (or other clones on the Coco) it is a single player game, and features some different/additional gameplay to the originals. It was also the 3rd machine language game that Spectral Associates made and the final one in their Space Trilogy, being first advertised as available in the May 1981 issue of 80 Micro magazine (the other two were (Color) Space Invaders and Meteoroids (an Asteroids clone). I believe that Meteoroids and Space War share the same core engine; some of the graphics and sound are very similar. It should be mentioned that Meteoroids was later licensed to Tandy and renamed to Microbes.

Being single player, it has two options for control: a single joystick (where you fire in the direction that you are accelerating towards), or dual joystick where one joystick controls the ship (direction, speed and firing) and the other joystick controls the cloaking device and direction the ships gun is facing, which means you can shoot in completely different directions than you are flying in. A pretty advanced control scheme for the time, but also a bit physically awkward. There is a black hole with heavy gravity (similar to the star in the original versions of Space War), but there are numerous extra things added as well: the ability for the player to cloak, which prevents missiles, explosion debris, meteors and enemy ships from destroying your ship, at the cost of both energy and the inability to fire while it is on. There is a Death Star ala Star Wars which features a rotating shield and can fire at you (unless you shoot through the hole in the shield - this is worth extra points and temporarily stops it from firing). There are also space mines (which you can't see until you get close to them), spinning meteors (which you can shoot for points, but they do NOT blow up like in Asteroids), and 16 skill levels (which changes a bunch of parameters the game uses).

Title: Space War

Author: ??? (Tom Rosenbaum?)

Publisher: Spectral Associates

Released: Spring 1981

Requires: Color Computer 1/2/3, 16K RAM, joystick(s).

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