Quasar (video game)

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Title screen
Developer(s) Jonathan Dubman
Publisher(s) Aristotle Software
Designer(s) Jonathan Dubman
Platform(s) Apple II
Release 1983
Genre(s) Snake game
Mode(s) Single player

Quasar is a snake game for the Apple II computer, created by Jonathan Dubman and published by Aristotle Software in 1983.[1]


The object of Quasar is to earn points by surrounding and eliminating your opponents, the "light-cycles". You control an orange line with a "cycle" in front of it that can move up, down, left, or right. Wherever you go, you leave an orange trail.

If you crash into anything, your cycle is "zapped", even if you crash into your own trail.

The other cycles: violet, green, and blue, also move in a similar way. They are just like you except that the computer controls them. Likewise, if they crash into anything, they disappear. They leave trails, too. If one cycle crashes, the others remain until they are trapped and crash, one by one.

To make them disappear, you must restrict the area in which they move by surrounding them. If they get boxed in, they will spiral to their own demise. Don't let them cut off your area and box you in.

Some points are awarded for mere survival, but many more are awarded for such things as eliminating opponent cycles, completing a level, and eating apples, which will be discussed later.

Every 5000 points, you will get a bonus cycle, which means you will get one more chance to play before the game ends.

  • Apples, After completing the first level, all successive levels will have apples on the screen, colored just like the Apple logo. If you run into an apple, you can earn lots of points. As you eat it, there is a little "bleep" and the apple disappears. The other cycles are not interested in the apples, and will not eat them.
  • Wormy Apples, As you rise in level, you will soon see some apples that have little worms inside. These apples are POISONOUS and must not be eaten! Watch out, and look carefully.
  • Balls, Watch out for little, round, white balls that bounce haphazardly about the screen. They are fatal to the touch. Up to four balls can appear on the screen at one time, depending on your level.
  • The Caterpillar, At level six, a green caterpillar finds his way to your monitor screen and slithers around. Steer clear of this seemingly harmless creature. He gets longer and faster as the game progresses
  • The Butterfly, The pink butterfly appears after the second ball. He flutters and flies like lightning and will home-in on you, trying to sting you with his venomous bite. Just staying away from him won't do the trick. There are many tricks that you may learn to avoid the butterfly, but you will have to figure them out for yourself. Up to four butterflies can appear, but not until very late in the game.

There are 6 different speeds that the game can be played at. Beginners are best off at the lower speeds (1,2) and experts are best off at the medium speeds (3,4). The upper speeds (5,6) are for daredevils and Apple dealers who want to show how fast Apple's graphics can be.

Every eighth level there is a "bonus board" in which you can earn many bonus points by lasting long and then killing off your opponents. In the bonus board levels, you and your opponents are snakes. You can only last so long before you run out of air.

When all of your cycles crash, the game is over and a finale tune is played. If you then hear 3 sirens, you have a new high score. Type your name, letter by letter and press RETURN.


External links[edit]

Quasar, 25th Anniversary Edition