Starquake (video game)

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Starquake (video game)
Game start screen for Bubble Bus' ZX Spectrum game Starquake.png
ZX Spectrum Screenshot of Starquake's start screen
Developer(s) Bubble Bus Software
Publisher(s) Bubble Bus Software
Designer(s) Stephen Crow
Programmer(s) Stephen Crow
Platform(s) Amstrad CPC, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, BBC Micro, Commodore 64, DOS, MSX, ZX Spectrum, Tatung Einstein
Release date(s) INT 1985
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution Cassette tape, 3-inch floppy disk (Einstein)

Starquake is an arcade adventure, platform and maze game written by Stephen Crow and published by Bubble Bus Software in 1985. It was released for Commodore 64, MSX, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Atari 8-bit family, Tatung Einstein (all 1985), the BBC Micro (1987)[1] and IBM Compatible and Atari ST (both 1988). An Amiga version was planned for 1991 but was never released.[2]

Plot[edit]

The player controls BLOB (Bio-Logically Operated Being), whose mission is to penetrate the unstable core of a rogue planet which has appeared from a black hole. If the core is not repaired within the set time limit it will implode causing a chain reaction which will destroy the entire universe. The planet is inhabited by various primitive creatures, all hazardous to the touch, and the remnants of a previous civilisation which provides the items needed to rebuild and stabilise the planet core.

Gameplay[edit]

There are several features of Starquake which help it stand out from other platform games of the era.

Transportation[edit]

Within the game, there are many ways to get around;

  • Running is the default.
  • Hover platforms can be used to fly. Items can not be picked up while on a hover platform.
  • BLOB can build his own short-lived platforms to reach high places.
  • There are also multiple teleport booths scattered around the play area, each with its own destination code.

Inventory[edit]

BLOB is able to carry up to four items at once, using a FIFO arrangement. Some of the items encountered will be useful to repair the core, while others will need to be exchanged using a Cheops Pyramid for something more useful. There is also an Access card, which can fill in for any of the numbered chips needed to get through some doors, and for using the aforementioned Pyramid.

Play Area[edit]

The game features a large and varied play area, with 512 screens. The placement of the objects, and the identities of those needed to fix the core are randomized at the start of the game.

Reception[edit]

The ZX Spectrum version was rated number 27 in the Your Sinclair Official Top 100 Games of All Time.[3]

Trivia[edit]

  • The game contains visual references to Alien 8 by Ultimate, which was very popular at the time of release.
  • The game contains references to the "Jetman" cartoon strip by John Richardson published in Crash magazine. According to Crow, BLOB was based on one of the characters from the strip.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Reeder, Dave (July 1987). "The Arcade: Starquake". A & B Computing (Argus Specialist Publications). p. 55. Bubble Bus Software, Model B/Master, Disc/tape £11.95/£9.95 
  2. ^ http://hol.abime.net/2111
  3. ^ "Readers' Top 100 Games of All Time". Your Sinclair. September 1993. [1]

External links[edit]