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So does everyone hate "Star Ship" then?

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8 hours ago, DragonGrafx-16 said:

Yeah it's bad... why play it when you could play Starmaster, Star Voyager, or Star Raiders...

Because they're not really the same kinds of games. Star Ship (okay, and Star Voyager) are arcade games; Star Ship in particular is essentially a stylized electronic carnival shooting game (with a few spin-off variations). Starmaster and Star Raiders are action-oriented strategy games--essentially evolved forms of the old Trek games from the '70s.

 

While they share superficial similarities, IMO they don't scratch the same itch. :)

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I think Outer Space was the first Sears game I bought for my Atari.  I liked it back then and still do.  The sound effects give off an ambience which is rare for a 2600 game.

 

If I want the ultimate best in that genre, I'll fire up the SuperCharger and load in Phaser Patrol.

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I never even knew this game existed until this thread.  I played the arcade version at the MGC a few years ago and thought it was pretty cool (considering the technology)

 

The odd part being we had the 2600 since 81 or 82, and all the neighbors and relatives traded/brought over carts, etc over all those years.  Nobody had this game that I know of.

 

I think I would have liked it back then after watching the videos.

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11 minutes ago, thanatos said:

I never even knew this game existed until this thread.  I played the arcade version at the MGC a few years ago and thought it was pretty cool (considering the technology)

 

The odd part being we had the 2600 since 81 or 82, and all the neighbors and relatives traded/brought over carts, etc over all those years.  Nobody had this game that I know of.

 

I think I would have liked it back then after watching the videos.

 

Never heard of it? I've had it running at MGC several times over the years! :P And Matt would comment on how bad it is. :lol:

As far as Star Ship's relative scarcity goes, it was discontinued around the same time the VCS really blew up in 1980, when Space Invaders came out--most gamers jumping in at that point or later probably would have missed it unless they saw it in used game shops or knew somebody that had an Atari in the '70s. The game was reintroduced in '82 or '83 (in a label style completely unique to this cart), although it never appeared in any catalogs, and was likely just a case of Atari trying to liquidate old inventory.

 

Why it was discontinued in the first place still seems to be unknown. Star Ship isn't particularly hard to find today, which indicates that it must have sold at least modestly well for its time. And while it's certainly primitive, there were arguably worse titles in Atari's lineup in '79-80 (personally I think Space War should have gotten the ax instead). Maybe Atari felt the lineup was too crowded, or that Space Invaders made it redundant or obsolete (but then why keep both Blackjack and Casino?...). Whatever the reason, Atari decided it didn't need Star Ship (or Miniature Golf) anymore. 🤷‍♂️

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7 hours ago, BassGuitari said:

Why it was discontinued in the first place still seems to be unknown.

I always assumed it had something to do with Sears since Outer Space was always in their stores well into the 80s.  Not an exclusive title like Steeplechase, but close enough.  Only way I knew Star Ship existed (and was the same game) was through the game catalogs included with the older games like Flag Capture.

 

8 hours ago, BassGuitari said:

Maybe Atari felt the lineup was too crowded, or that Space Invaders made it redundant or obsolete (but then why keep both Blackjack and Casino?...).

But Star Ship and Space Invaders couldn't be more different and why keep selling it at Sears?  I believe Star Raiders was released in '82.  Imagic Star Voyager and Activision Starmaster were also '82 games so there was no competition until years later.

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They cleared out the old crap to make way for the new awesome. Nothing wrong with that! Anyone who really really wanted Star Ship could probably find it. 

 

There's a good interview with Al Nilsen (formerly of Sega) about his time as a game buyer for JC Penney. He would play all the games, study what sold, and keep a strict limit on how many games the store would stock at one time. I'm sure Star Ship fell off the list. 

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17 hours ago, BassGuitari said:

 

Never heard of it? I've had it running at MGC several times over the years! :P And Matt would comment on how bad it is. :lol:
 

Yeah, somehow I missed all that.  Or maybe just blanked it out because I really did think it was bad!  :)

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I got this game(Outer Space) and Submarine Commander new at Sears.  I played it a lot. Wasn't one of my favorites, but it was fun. 

I never played any of the other game variations though.  I may have to check them out.

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