Space Panic

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Space Panic
Space panic version e.png
Developer(s) Universal
Publisher(s) Universal
Platform(s) Arcade
Release date(s) 1980 (Arcade)
Genre(s) Platform
Mode(s) Single player, Up to 2 players, alternating turns
Cabinet Upright / cocktail
Sound 1-channel (mono), amplified
Display Raster, 336 x 240 pixels, 8 colors

Space Panic is a 1980 arcade game designed by Universal, which Chris Crawford calls the first ever platform game,[1] as it pre-dates Nintendo's Donkey Kong (from 1981) which is often cited as the original platform game. Space Panic lacks Donkey Kong's jump mechanic and the main character instead digs holes in the platforms into which he must lure the aliens. He must then hit them to knock them out of the hole and off the screen. In later levels, two or more holes must be lined up vertically in order to dispose of the aliens. There is also a limited supply of oxygen.

Origins and legacy[edit]

The trap-em-up premise of the game (digging holes to trap aliens) is likely to have been inspired by the then contemporary Heiankyo Alien (a 1979 game first released in arcades in 1980),[citation needed] but while that game is set in a maze viewed from above, Space Panic used platforms and ladders viewed from the side.

Lode Runner (1983), had a similar look, and used the basic premise of digging holes to trap enemies. Universal revisited the genre again with Mr. Do's Castle (1983) which incorporated and expanded upon many of the play styles explored in this seminal game.

Ports and clones[edit]

First Published Name Company System(s)
1981 Apple Panic Brøderbund Apple II, Atari 8-bit, PC Booter, VIC-20
1982 Space Panic Coleco ColecoVision
1982 Panic Visions Software Factory ZX Spectrum
1982 Monsters Acornsoft BBC Micro, Acorn Electron
1983 Bonka J. Morrison (Micros) Ltd. Dragon 32/64, Commodore 64
1983 Cuthbert Goes Digging Microdeal TRS-80 Color Computer, Dragon 32
1983 Panic 64 Interceptor Micros Commodore 64
1983 Sam Spade Silversoft Ltd ZX Spectrum
1984 Panic Planet Alligata Commodore 64
1984 Monsters 64 Available as a Compunet download Commodore 64
1984 Hektik Mastertronic Commodore 64
1986 Panik! Atlantis Commodore 16, BBC Micro, Acorn Electron, Atari 8-bit

References[edit]

External links[edit]