Game name: Space Encounters
Manufacturer: Midway Co.
Year of development: 1980
Category: 3D Shooter
Hardware Platform Info:
- Main CPU: Intel 8080 1.9968 MHz
- Video Resolution: Upright 262 x 240
- CRT: Black and white with color overlay
Main developer: N/A
Music compositor: N/A
History of development:
Launched in 1980, Space Encounters was one of the last games to use 8080 CPU that had powered many of Midway's most successful games like the 1975 Gun Fight. It was also one of the last black and white plot games.
Unfortunately, the machine did not like it among the public. Players at the time were more interested in Pacman, Galaxian, and Asteroids, so there were times when operators returned machines because they were not making money. Also, machines were quite fragile at the time. For this reason it has been difficult to preserve them.
The objective is simply: to shoot as many ships as possible. A unique feature of the machine is that it includes a red light bulb and a strobe light that turns on every time an alien ship is fired at. The tunnel in which ship flies gives a real feeling of movement while playing.
The player must use an analog stick to take control of a satellite-like ship (known as an "Assault Ship"). A single button fires at enemies while flying through a trench (known as the "Space Channel"). Initially, the Assault Ship begins invulnerable, as game timer in upper right corner of screen begins the countdown; however, once it runs out, it will become vulnerable and will immediately explode when hit. Up to three additional lives can be earned with increasing point values, to avoid immediate death on impact after time runs out. The point values of the enemy missiles increase from 20 to 50 points, for each of the four stages of this game.
Occasionally, "Flying Saucers" will appear in view from the sides of screen. These are worth 250 points when destroyed. Immediately "Time Lapse Target" appears, which is worth 100-500 points. "Speed Score" points are also earned by guiding the Assault Ship to the top of "Space Channel".
Once game is over, the speed score will be added to the regular score for the final result. However, the score display for this particular game carries over to 10,000. In a two player game, control changes from 1P to 2P once your game is over.
Since Space Encounters was not a great success in arcades, an official version for computers or consoles was never released. However, Star Strike for the Intellivision, with the same trench perspective flight, could easily be termed an unofficial version.
The printed circuit boards, sound and strobes that were used, are exclusive to Space Encounters.
HISTORY OF MACHINE IN ARCADE VINTAGE