Encounter (video game)

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Encounter! Coverart.png
Publisher(s)Synapse Software
Novagen Software
Designer(s)Paul Woakes
Platform(s)Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST
  • WW: 1984
Genre(s)Shoot 'em up

Encounter (also known as Encounter!)[1] is a first person shoot 'em up game originally released in 1983 for the Atari 8-bit family and Commodore 64 programmed by Paul Woakes for Novagen Software. It was published by Novagen in the UK and Europe and by Synapse in North America. The gameplay is similar to that of Atari's 1980 arcade game Battlezone, but with scaled sprites instead of wireframe 3D graphics. Encounter is notable for moving large, screen-filling objects at a high frame rate. Woakes later developed Mercenary.[2]

Versions for the Amiga and Atari ST computers followed much later, in 1991.[3][4]


Enemy saucer fired

Encounter contains eight environments with three difficulty levels and includes 3-D graphics and sound effects to indicate the approach of enemy kamikaze aliens.[5][6] The game contains two level types: a shooting level where diamond-shaped aliens attack the player in a 3-D plane with regularly placed columns and a flying level where the player must navigate a 3-D star field by avoiding contact with any foreign objects.[5] The level type alternates as players advance by entering vortexes which appear after each level is completed.[5] Game control was with the then-standard eight-way digital joystick.


Review scores
Your Commodore4/5 stars[5]
Amiga Joker57%[3]

Your Commodore gave the game four out of five stars praising the game's level of difficulty and available environments along with appreciating the sound effects which indicate when difficult enemies are going to attack.[5] In 1991, the game was converted to the Amiga.[3][7] However, the gameplay was outdated, and Amiga Joker gave it a mediocre score of 57%, stating that it was good enough for a short play from time to time.

The game was much better rated than Dimension X, also released by Synapse in the same year.


  1. ^ The title "Encounter!" was used on the packaging and marketing artwork, as well as on the Atari 32K version - Encounter 32K Atari version on Atarimania. Retrieved on 2014-05-27.
  2. ^ Coles, Tony (June 15, 2015). "Mercenary Retrospective". Eurogamer.net.
  3. ^ a b c Amiga Joker issue 9/91, p. 66. Joker Verlag, Haar.
  4. ^ Encounter (ST version) on Atarimania. Retrieved on 2014-05-27.
  5. ^ a b c d e S.L.F.P. (October 1984). "Encounter Review". Your Commodore. Argus Specialist Publications. 1 (1): 30. Retrieved 2016-04-23.
  6. ^ Encounter on Atarimania. Retrieved on 2009-08-24.
  7. ^ Amiga Encounter on the Hall of Light. Retrieved on 2009-08-24.