Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 115 / DECEMBER 1989 / PAGE 132


The best of flight simulation and role-playing come together in Space Rogue. Soar through space, dogfight other ships, maneuver through treacherous asteroid belts, and then dock at various starbases to interact with the people and aliens you meet.

You begin as a private aboard a large merchant ship called the Princess Blue. When your ship receives a small-craft distress beacon, the captain sends you to investigate. The ship in distress turns out to be the Jolly Roger, a Sunracer-class scout ship. You find it abandoned but in perfect working order. Before you can figure out what happened to the ship's crew, the Princess Blue is attacked by Manchi Vulture-class hiveships and destroyed by plasma torpedoes. The Manchis then disappear back into space leaving you and the derelict Sunracer unharmed. Thus begins your career as a space rogue.

The setting for Space Rogue is the twenty-fourth century in a part of the Galactic Empire known as the Far Arm. It consists of a dozen starbases, outposts, and mining stations spread out over eight different star systems. All of these systems are linked through wormholes by a network of Malir gates. Fortunately, your new Sunracer has been approved by the Imperial authorities for travel through Malir gates.

Maneuver your ship in space around the 3-D objects found in Space Rogue.

The Sunracer is a good, all-purpose cargo ship with some armor and a basic laser-beam weapon. You pilot the ship by charting a course with the navigation computer and then activating the automatic helm. If another ship is detected and you think it's a threat, you can take appropriate action. Once you arrive at your destination, you switch to the cockpit mode and pilot the ship manually for docking.

There are four types of bases, and they offer protection, repair and service facilities, trading posts, and friendly cantinas. The people you meet on your travels can provide valuable information about life in the star system or tell you about specific business opportunities.

As a space rogue, you can take three different directions. You can make your living as an honest trader, buying and selling everything from explosives and brandy to souvenirs and manure. You can turn to piracy and raid merchant ships. Or, you can become a bounty hunter and collect imperial bounties for destroying all the pirate ships you can find. Since most pirate ships are fairly well armed, however, you'd better make sure to upgrade your Sunracer before embarking on this career.

You can play Space Rogue with a joystick, a mouse, or the keyboard. Instead of a conventional user's manual, the game comes with the Sunracer Owner's Guide and Navigation Manual. From the greasy fingerprints, coffee-cup rings, and notes scribbled in the margins, it's clear that the manual once belonged to the original owner of the derelict Sunracer.

From the interesting opening premise to this clever manual, Space Rogue works. Not simply because it's one of the first games to integrate two distinct genres, but because it does so believably and with style. While you're in flight, objects you see from your cockpit view appear solid and 3-D; the animation is incredibly smooth and realistic. More importantly, the realism continues even after you step out of your Sunracer and begin to deal with the bounty hunters, merchants, pirates, and economic conditions you'll find in the Far Arm. If you've ever wondered what it would be like to be Han Solo, Space Rogue is your chance to find out.


Atari ST—$49.95
Commodore 64/128—$49.95
IBM PC and compatibles with 348K and CGA, EGA, or VGA—$49.95

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