I was going to choose Sea Wolf/Bombardier (aka Sea Wolf/Missile) for the main game this month. However, that game is only for two-players, which made it a difficult choice. I played it Thursday night with Chris++. We decided that it probably isn't a very good fit for the Astrocade High Score Club. Besides, it's a very early game for the Bally Arcade and it isn't that much fun... although I know that we'll explore this title eventually.
Sea Devil is the main game for Round 10 of the Astrocade High Score Club. Round 10 will last about three weeks. The round ends on Sunday, August 14'th at 8pm MST.
Sea Devil is a 4K third party game. It was released in 1983 by L&M Software. This cartridge was written by Andy Guevara (of The Bit Fiddlers).
From the game's advertisement:
You are the guardian of a 21st century undersea farm. Not only is this important to the survival of the people on earth, but the company you work for have risked millions on this venture.
Zardos, the evil king of a distant planet, needs this food for himself. He has sent android divers with other sea creatures to steal this food.
You are provided with the undersea, hi-tech, sub-surface cruiser, Sea Devil, equipped with the latest in sonar screens. You can spot targets at great distance. As they come into range, your laser makes quick work of the poachers and accumulate valuable sub credit points for yourself.
Zardos, personally, is commanding a submarine which will fire cluster bombs to keep you at bay.
Can you get Zardos in his sub? He?s worth 1,000 points if you can.
From the game "manual:"
The game starts with 5 ships. Use joystick #1 to control your ship. Pressing any key in the left hand row will allow you to take an intermission, to resume play, press again.
You must destroy the hoard of poachers as quickly as possible because each bit of food (the white abalone on the bottom) they get will cost you bonus score at the end of the screen. Beware, the poachers are releasing undersea mines to destroy you, avoid them by evasive action. Each contact your craft makes will cost you 1 ship.
Level 1 pits you against octopi and android divers. For each level that is cleared a new one will appear and the game speed will increase. Periodically Zardos will put additional kinds of his creatures in your path.
This occurs at level 2 with star fish added to the playfield, level 3 with jelly fish and level 5 with mechanical crabs. At level 7, Zardos' sub will appear and begin firing cluster bombs at you.
Additional levels will provide increased speed and more attraction between you and your opponents.
For a replay squeeze trigger
Octopi - 150
Divers - 250
Starfish - 250
Jellyfish - 500
Mechanical crabs - 700
Subs - 1000
The Sea Devil cartridge ROM image (called "seadevil.bin") is part of this archive:
The Sea Devil "manual" (really, just a sheet of paper) is here:
Here is a video of Sea Devil:
There are no play settings for Sea Devil, which is too bad, as when this game begins, it is too easy.
As usual, 10 points can be earned this round (excluding bonus points).
"Sea Devil" Bonus Points
There is just one way to score bonus points for Sea Devil:
1) Furthest Level Reached - 1 point to the player that reaches the furthest level in the game.
The Pits (BASIC Bonus Game)
This round's bonus game, The Pits by Rex Goulding, is a BASIC type-in game that was submitted to the Arcadian newsletter on October 8, 1980 (it wasn't published until August 1981!). I think that this is the first time I've featured a type-in game in the Astrocade HSC. This game is extremely simple, and doesn't take long to play (just a minute or two)... but that's great, because the game is quite addicting. You'll find yourself have "just one more go" over and over again.
On March 25, 2011, I posted about this game to the Bally Alley Yahoo group (message #10456). Here is that post, in slightly edited form:
The Pits for AstroBASIC - A Fantastic Game!
I have just finished playing The Pits by Rex Goulding for about fifteen or twenty minutes. This program was published in:
ARCADIAN 3, no. 10 (Aug. 12, 1981): 108.
This is an "AstroBASIC" game that I haven't played before (or one that I can't remember playing). The graphics are nothing but squares scrolling up the screen. The player controls a small dot and trys to avoid the squares (the "pits"). It doesn't sound like much, but it sure is fun!
The object of the game is to move the small dot in the upper-left corner past the pits to the end of the medium-size box in the lower-right corner. The clunker is that the pits move up the screen all the time and can catch you. Each time the screen rolls up, it counts as one move. A successful trip in 16 moves is doing well.
This program has been available for "AstroBASIC" online for a long time. You can download it here:
If you have an Astrocade, then I highly recommend that you try this game. It isn't often that I suggest BASIC games, but I'm doing it now. I'm not sure if it is the moment, since I just finished playing the game, but this may be my new favorite "AstroBASIC" game. When I'm cursing a game and I want to throw my controller and it's my very own fault and I keep coming back for more, then I know that the game is a winner!
This is a thirty-five year-old game and it had me really going crazy trying to avoid the pits. When I won (in 21 moves), I felt like I really accomplished something! I'd give a screen shot, but it really wouldn't do this game any justice.
Whenever I play a game that I really like, but that I've never encountered before, I always wonder if it's based on another game. Has anyone seen this game on another platform?
Load up The Pits... and have fun!
The Pits Bonus Points
1) Playing The Pits - You get a bonus point just for playing The Pits.
2) The Pits Low Score - You can earn another bonus point if you get the Lowest score for this game.
3) Video of The Pits - A bonus point will be awarded to the first person to upload a video of The Pits containing a full game. If the video is a video review, then you'll earn two points!
Please post all of your scores for both games here. Scores posted on the Bally Alley discussion group will no longer be accepted. If you post a video score, then please note the score obtained in the video-- as this makes it easier for me to keep track of all the scores.
Have fun playing Sea Devil and The Pits!