Starcross (video game)

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Starcross box art.jpg
Cover art
Developer(s) Infocom
Publisher(s) Infocom
Designer(s) Dave Lebling
Engine ZIL
Platform(s) Amiga, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Commodore Plus/4, MS-DOS, TRS-80, TI-99/4A
Release date(s) Release 15: September 1, 1982

Release 17: October 21, 1982

Genre(s) Interactive fiction
Mode(s) Single player
Distribution 3½" or 5¼" disk

Starcross is a 1982 interactive fiction game designed and implemented by Dave Lebling and published by Infocom. Like most Infocom titles, it was developed for many systems. It was released for DOS, as a PC Booter, Apple II, Atari ST and Atari 8-bit. It is Infocom's fifth game.

The game was Infocom's first in the science fiction genre. It takes place in the year 2186, when the player's character is a lone black hole miner exploring an asteroid belt. The player's ship, the Starcross, is fitted with a mass detector to look for "quantum black holes", which are such powerful sources of energy that one could provide a wealth of riches. When the mass detector finally discovers an anomaly, however, it isn't a black hole but something else entirely: a massive craft of unknown origin and composition.

The player must dock with the mysterious ship and gain entry to its interior. Once inside, the player discovers a wide variety of alien plant and animal species and an array of unfamiliar technology.


Before Infocom released Starcross, it released Zork III, and Deadline before that. Deadline included several physical items related to the game's theme, which Infocom referred to as feelies, and they continued the technique by providing feelies with Zork III and Starcross.

The Starcross feelies consisted of the following items:

  • Log of the M.C.S. Starcross, a whimsical journal of the player's character's experiences on the ship
  • A letter from the "Bureau of Extra-Solar Intelligence" providing advice for any encounters with alien lifeforms
  • A partial space map of charted masses, including instructions on how to use the navigation computer


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