Cytron Masters is a computer game by Dan Bunten released for the Apple II in July or August 1982. It was developed by his company, Ozark Softscape, and released by Strategic Simulations, Inc. Cytron Masters is one of the earliest computer games that can be considered a real-time strategy game, or rather a real-time tactics predecessor to the genre, requiring the players to build up their forces in order to win.
In the game each player takes the role of the commander, represented on-screen in Command Centers located on opposite sides of the screen. Scattered around the screen are eight "generators" that produce energy. The energy produced by these generators is the resource in the game, similar in function to the more tangible resources gathered in modern RTS games. Energy can then be "spent" to produce the Cytrons, robot warriors, as well as using it to move them about, fire, and other duties.
The playfield consists of a twelve by six grid of possible locations, with the command centers at the (1,3) and (12,3) locations. Five different types of Cytrons can be built and moved about the grid. Shooters fire at the closest of any enemy units with a three-space range, mines detonate when an enemy approaches, bunkers absorb damage, and missiles fly up and over the battlefield to detonate at a selected location. The fifth unit, the Commander, relays commands from the Command Centers out to the units in the field.
Gameplay is somewhat chess-like, a battle for position. Bunkers and mines become important along the front lines, protecting friendly units from attack while they are developed forward.
- Sipe, Russell (July–August 1982), "Hobby and Industry News" (PDF), Computer Gaming World, pp. 1, 4
- Cytron Masters at MobyGames
- "Game Design Memoir by Dani Bunten Berry". Retrieved 13 July 2008.
- Scott Sharkey. "Hail to the Duke". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2011-03-01.
- Brooks, M. Evan (November 1992). "Strategy & Wargames: The Future (2000-....)". Computer Gaming World. p. 99. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
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