Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 79 / DECEMBER 1986 / PAGE 44

Laser Strike

Barbara Schulak

In this strategy game for one or two players, your mission is to locate and vaporize your opponent's hidden space force before your force suffers the same fate. The original version of "Laser Strike" is written for the Commodore 64. We've added new versions for the ST, Amiga, IBM PC/PCjr, Apple II series, and Atari 400, 800, XL, and XE. The Apple II version runs under either ProDOS or DOS 3.3. A joystick is required for the Commodore 64 and Atari versions (except ST), The IBM PC/PCjr version requires BASICA and a color /graphics card for the PC or cartridge BASIC for the PCjr.

"Laser Strike" is a strategy game based on several popular board games (Battleship is probably the most famous). However, unlike the board games, the action in Laser Strike occurs in outer space. Two players secretly deploy their spaceships around the galaxy and then try to locate the opponent's ships by firing laser strikes on the two-dimensional galaxy grid. The first player to find and destroy all the opponent's ships is the winner.

Typing It In

Type in the correct version of Laser Strike for your computer and save a copy. Every version of Laser Strike is similar, so be sure to read the following general game rules as well as the specific instructions for your computer.

Laser Strike begins by asking each player to enter his or her name. If you wish to play against the computer, press RETURN without typing anything at the first name prompt. If you press RETURN at both name prompts, the computer plays the entire game by itself.

The program then displays two grids, one for each player. In the first stage of the game, each player decides where to locate the ships in his or her grid. The deployment must be secret, so the second player needs to look away from, the screen while the first player deploys ships, and vice versa. To deploy a ship, simply move the cursor to the desired location on the screen and press the joystick fire button (space bar in some versions). After choosing the location, you must also decide whether to deploy the ship horizontally or vertically. You cannot place a ship so that it overlaps the border. If you attempt to place a ship illegally, the program warns you and gives you another chance.

After both players' ships have been placed, the contest begins. The players alternate firing laser shots on each other's grids. To fire a shot, move the cursor to the desired location; then press the fire button or the space bar. If you hit a ship, that square of the grid is marked in the color of the ship you hit. If you miss, the square is marked in a neutral color. The game continues until one player has found and eliminated all of the other player's ships. At that point you can exit the program or play a new game.

Commodore 64 Version

This version of Laser Strike (Program 1) requires at least one joystick. If you play the game with two human players, you may use either one or two joysticks. When using only one joystick, plug the stick into port 2.

Apple II Version

The Apple II version of Laser Strike (Program 2) uses keyboard controls and runs in either ProDOS or DOS 3.3. Move the cursor with the cursor keys and press the space bar to fire.

Amiga Version

This version of Laser Strike (Program 3) includes speech synthesis and stereo sound effects. To hear the stereo effect, make sure that both of the Amiga's audio channels are connected to your monitor or amplifier as explained in the user's manual. Press the cursor keys to move the cursor and the space bar to fire or deploy ships.

IBM PC/PCjr Version

Laser Strike for the IBM PC/PCjr (Program 4) requires BASICA and a color/graphics card for the PC or cartridge BASIC for the PCjr. Use keyboard controls to play the game: The space bar fires the laser and the cursor keys move the cursor.

Laser Strike For Atari 400, 800, XL, And XE

This version of Laser Strike (Program 5) requires a joystick. Plug the joystick into port 1 before you run the program. For a two-player game, both players share the same joystick. The ships are all the same color—either blue or orange, depending on which Atari model you are using. Move the cursor with the joystick and press the fire button to deploy a ship or fire the laser.

ST Version

Laser Strike for the Atari 520ST or 1040ST (Program 6) requires a color monitor. Set the screen to low-resolution mode before booting BASIC. The game is played with the mouse. Move the mouse cursor to the desired square; then press the left mouse button. Do not type more than eight characters when you enter a player's name. If you wish to play again after finishing a game, you must reboot the computer by pressing the reset button, run BASIC from the desktop, and return the program.