Monday, 27 February 2017

Sticks of light was my first flight

If you are old enough to remember this (in any version), thanks, now I don't feel so alone!

Back in 1983, this was the closest thing I played that could be considered a flying combat game at home. Originally released as a coin operated arcade console in 1981, Scramble would be ported out to Commodore C64, Tandy Home Computer System and much later, Sony PlayStation and Nintendo Game Boy.

However, it's the Vectrex version that I played and my memories of those adventures seem rather dated, looking back.

It's funny how the mind plays tricks on a person, filling in the gaps to complete an experience beyond the sensory input of the times. Too deep? Much like watching a black and white movie or television show, the mind almost fills it in with hints of color (or, you just get a really fantastic headache from the ordeal), looking forward from this particular game, I don't remember seeing it as nothing more than vectored shapes made out of sticks of light, but an immersive and challenging experience.

Now, in retrospect, that is a completely different story.

Although the first game was built in (a title called Minestorm, very much like the more popular and better known Asteroids), more cartridges were eventually added to the growing library. Scramble was one of the most unique games that would be purchased, since it added multitasking, coupled with an increasing game pace as the player progressed along.

The premise of the game was simple enough, by using a fighter/bomber, destroy wave after wave of flying enemy ships (some had to be avoided, since the weapons had no effect on them), knock out ground targets (certain objects would partially replenish the ever decreasing fuel supply) while being mindful of a collision with the ingame environment. The first few levels would be easy going, progressively getting harder as the enemies multiplied, moved faster and some becoming nearly invincible.

It was an entertaining and highly challenging, single-player adventure. However, I never progressed too far into the title, the action was just too fast for me to keep up with or avoid altogether, despite my young age.

Eventually, I would move on to other gaming consoles (all the hype was surrounding this new at the time machine called the Nintendo) and eventually experienced more advanced titles on the PC.

But, for a time, I was shooting enemies out of the sky, bombing ground targets and avoiding the hazards the ingame environment posed to my continuing gameplay.

Seems somethings haven't changed much.

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