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Alien Blitz (VIC-20)

Posted: July 6th, 2017, 9:25 pm
by scotland
Playing around with Alien Blitz on the Commodore VIC-20.

Its from 1981, which is the launch year for the VIC 20, and I think one of the first games really available. Its only a 4K game (although it needs an 8K RAM expansion to play, since the VIC natively has only 3K and the 3K RAM expansions maps memory locations differently from the 8K expansion).

Alien_Blitz.JPG (29.29 KiB) Viewed 320 times

(the cartridge version would not need the RAM expansion of course)

Its a surprisingly good Space Invaders clone. I put a short 60 second video clip up so you can see. What's doubly surprisingly is that this was done given the limitations of the VIC-20 graphics chip which does not support hardware sprites! Look at all the invading (excuse me, blitzing) aliens! Pretty good, and in 1981 when there were not all the tools that have been developed since then to help out.

Lots of aliens (40 of them as 5 rows of 8 compared to the arcade 55 in 5 rows of 11, but that's still more than the 2600 version which I think has just 36 with 6 rows of 6), the aliens look good, the Jaws-like music is there, the shields get eaten up in tiny amounts not large chunks, etc. Several skill levels, but not anything like the insane number of variations of the 2600. Still, this game does not disappoint, and in 1981, a good Space Invaders game was something every kid would appreciate.

Video here=>

Alien_Blitz_2.JPG (20.61 KiB) Viewed 319 times

Re: Alien Blitz (VIC-20)

Posted: July 6th, 2017, 11:24 pm
by VideoGameCritic
Awesome - thanks for posting this. Looks impressive. Did you load it from tape? How long did that take?

Re: Alien Blitz (VIC-20)

Posted: July 7th, 2017, 6:01 am
by scotland
VideoGameCritic wrote:Awesome - thanks for posting this. Looks impressive. Did you load it from tape? How long did that take?

Fortunately, I didn't have to. The game exists in both tape and cartridge versions, which is the same game but different formats (just like a disk image and a cartridge ROM of the same game would be different). I have a modern hobbyist peripheral that lets you use any mp3 device to play tape files without using a datasette, but even then its painfully slow and cumbersome and I lost patience. For Alien Blitz, I used the cartridge image through a different hobbyist peripheral.