Airheart box art
|Developer(s)||Dan Gorlin Productions|
Airheart is a 1986 video game for the Apple II. It was designed and programmed by Dan Gorlin and published by Brøderbund. It requires an Apple IIe enhanced (or later) to run, as it uses double hi-res graphics.
Gorlin had great success with his first title, Choplifter, which he developed in about six months. This title, however, took about three years to develop. This is in large part because he also developed other games which he lost interest in and never completed and also because he did a lot of research and built a number of tools to help in game development.
Gorlin was unable to include all the features he planned. At one point, for example, he had tunnel and underwater levels working, but was unable to complete them due to time constraints. Tunnels and islands, in fact, were key elements of his original vision for the game, but had to be scrapped, being too ambitious for the time.
Gorlin and his team created the largest version of each sprite by hand and then used proprietary tools to create the about twenty smaller versions of the sprite. Storing these sprites in RAM, they were able to simulate scaling in realtime. Though the sprites used a lot of memory, it was the only method that satisfied Gorlin since he hated the low-polygon look of other contemporary games.
The name Airheart is the title the player aspires to earn. The user controls a jet-propelled flotation device. They must navigate their craft and fight robotic defenders. Spirit guardians instruct the player to collect certain items, such as a sword or a goblet. Gathering the items is a precursor to a final battle to free an infant boy prince.