Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 43 / DECEMBER 1983 / PAGE 108

Space Thief

Steve Low

The survival of two neighboring space civilizations depends on their ability to smuggle power pods, but they must cross through the megabarrier. This two-player game involves both an offensive and defensive strategy. Written for the Atari, a 64 version is included. Two joysticks are required.

For eons the Alpha and Zeta civilizations have coexisted with a mutual trade agreement. Each uses an energy station dependent upon a combination of power pods from both sides. An undeclared war has negated this treaty.

To maintain your energy base, pods must be smuggled from the adjoining nation and deposited at your station for processing. Load the pods by docking your cargo ship next to them and pressing the joystick trigger. The pods can be destroyed when the ship carrying them either strikes the megabarrier or is shot by an enemy ship. Your cargo ships are unharmed by shots from a laser cannon. Pass pods through the correct power plant to unload.

As starship commander, you must also defend your native pods from capture. For this defensive necessity, your cargo ship has been equipped with a unidirectional laser cannon.

Making transportation difficult is the megabarrier, a barricade which constantly relocates but always leaves an area open. You may pass through the opening without interference; however, crashing into the barrier returns your ship to its starting location.

The game is won by accruing points. You receive two points for blasting your opponent and five points for depositing pods at your pow station. The game terminates when the last pod from either civilization is deposited safely or los Replay is initialized by pressing START.

Player 1 has captured the opponent's pod in "Space Thief." Atari version.

Space Thief Notes For 64 Version

The 64 version of "Space Thief" uses an interrupt-driven ML routine which controls the position of all sprites and any collisions between them. BASIC is used to provide random numbers for the barrier's position and to keep score for both players. Points are accumulated in this version when you collect pods by touching your opponent's base and transporting the pods back to your own base. One point is awarded for each pod returned. The first player to attain three points wins.

Sound easy? There are hazards. If you are blasted by the opposing player or touch the barrier, you lose your cargo and are returned to your starting position. If you are touching your base, your opponent cannot collect or deposit a pod. Obviously, though, you will never get any points, either. The best plan is to use a combination of offensive and defensive strategies. Two joysticks are required.