Solaris (video game)

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Solaris cover.webp
Publisher(s)Atari Corporation
Designer(s)Doug Neubauer[1]
Platform(s)Atari 2600
Genre(s)Space combat simulator

Solaris is a space combat game for the Atari 2600 published in 1986 by Atari Corporation.[2] It was developed by Doug Neubauer,[1] who owns the copyright and the Solaris trademark. The game is a sequel to Neubauer's Atari 8-bit family game Star Raiders from 1979.[3] Both games feature an enemy race known as Zylons, but Star Raiders uses a first-person perspective while Solaris is in third-person.

Solaris was at one point going to be based on The Last Starfighter, while the Atari 8-bit version of The Last Starfighter was renamed Star Raiders 2.[citation needed]


The galaxy of Solaris is made up of 16 quadrants, each containing 48 sectors.[4] The player uses a tactical map to choose a sector to warp to, during which they must attempt to keep their ship "in focus" to lower their fuel consumption rate. Fuel must be carefully managed, as an empty tank results in loss of one of the player lives. Space battle ensues whenever the player navigates into a hostile battlegroup via the tactical map. Space enemies include pirate ships, mechanoid ships, and aggressive "cobra" ships. Each battlegroup has at least one enemy flagship, which shoots out fuel-sapping drones.[5]

The player may also descend to one of 3 types of planets:

  1. Friendly federation planets, which provide for refueling, but may also harbor a planet defense mission if they are under attack. If players allow a friendly planet in a quadrant to be destroyed, that quadrant becomes a "red zone" where joystick controls are reversed and booming sounds are overheard.
  2. Enemy Zylon planets, in which the player must rescue all cadets, gaining an extra ship when all cadets are rescued.
  3. Enemy corridor planets, in which the player must traverse through a fast-paced corridor.

There are 4 kinds of ground enemies found on planets: stationary guardians, gliders, targeters and raiders. The ultimate goal of Solaris is to reach the planet Solaris and rescue its colonists, at which point the game ends in victory.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Hague, James. "The Giant List of Classic Game Programmers".
  2. ^ "Solaris: The Last (Atari 2600) Starfighter from". Archived from the original on 2012-10-08.
  3. ^ Barton, Matt; Loguidice, Bill (2009-09-08). "The History of Star Raiders: Taking Command". Gamasutra. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  4. ^ "Solaris manual". Atari Corporation. 1986.
  5. ^ "Pushing the limits: Solaris". Retro Gamer. p. 176. Retrieved 25 February 2021.

External links[edit]