Big Five Software

Attack Force

Attack Force

Tandy TRS-80 - Released - 1980

Attack Force is a Targ variant. As such it is a shoot 'em up that takes place in a grid-like maze where the player's ship starts out in the bottom right corner while eight alien ramships start out in the top row. As the game begins, the ramships will start chasing the player who has to shoot them to prevent getting caught. In addition to the ramships there are flagships that initially are located to the right, outside the playing field. From there they can zap the ramships and thereby turn them into clones of the player's ship. These has to be avoided since shooting them will lead to the...

Bounty Bob Strikes Back!

Bounty Bob Strikes Back!

Atari 5200 - Released - 1984

Bounty Bob Strikes Back! is the sequel to Miner 2049er and features similar gameplay. As Bounty Bob, your goal is to claim every inch of 25 challenging mines. To do this, you must walk over each segment of the framework in the mines. To reach each segment of framework, you will need to figure out a way to jump, climb, or use one of the many devices occasionally available to get there. To your help you get around (or sometimes hinder progress) are ladders, slides, suction tubes, cannons, transporters, and other devices. Wandering about the mines are many dangerous mutants. If you come in...

Bounty Bob Strikes Back!

Bounty Bob Strikes Back!

Commodore 64 - 1985

Bounty Bob Strikes Back! is the sequel to Miner 2049er and features similar gameplay. As Bounty Bob, your goal is to claim every inch of 25 challenging mines. To do this, you must walk over each segment of the framework in the mines. To reach each segment of framework, you will need to figure out a way to jump, climb, or use one of the many devices occasionally available to get there. To your help you get around (or sometimes hinder progress) are ladders, slides, suction tubes, cannons, transporters, and other devices. Wandering about the mines are many dangerous mutants. If you come in...

Bounty Bob Strikes Back!

Bounty Bob Strikes Back!

Atari 800 - Released - 1984

Bounty Bob Strikes Back! is the sequel to Miner 2049er and features similar gameplay. As Bounty Bob, your goal is to claim every inch of 25 challenging mines. To do this, you must walk over each segment of the framework in the mines. To reach each segment of framework, you will need to figure out a way to jump, climb, or use one of the many devices occasionally available to get there. To your help you get around (or sometimes hinder progress) are ladders, slides, suction tubes, cannons, transporters, and other devices. Wandering about the mines are many dangerous mutants.

Cosmic Fighter

Cosmic Fighter

Tandy TRS-80 - Released - 1980

Cosmic Fighter was loosely based on Astro Fighter, which was released by Data East in 1980. In many ways, Cosmic Fighter looks similar to Galaxy Invasion. However, the similarities are superficial and the games are very different. Your goal in Cosmic Fighter is to shoot the aliens as they descend from the top of the screen. Unlike Galaxy Invasion, you have a limited fuel supply which is used up as you move and shoot. A gauge at the top of the screen indicates how much fuel you have left. Your ship can be destroyed either by hitting an alien or shot or by simply running out of fuel. You are...

Defense Command

Defense Command

Tandy TRS-80 - Released - 1982

Defense Command was the last TRS‑80 game written by Bill Hogue. It was very loosely based by the arcade game Defender, which Williams Electronics released in 1980. There were many Defender clones created for the TRS‑80. Notable examples include Alien Defense by Soft Sector Marketing, Penetrator by Melbourne House, and The Eliminator (the official Defender) by Adventure International. The goal of Defender is to shoot aliens who are trying to carry away humanoids. Defender features a scrolling horizontal playing field and the player’s spaceship moves in all four directions. Defense...

Galaxy Invasion

Galaxy Invasion

Tandy TRS-80 - Released - 1980

Many people thought that Galaxy Invasion was based on Space Invaders (including a reviewer for 80 Microcomputing), but this was a common misconception. Galaxy Invasion was based on the arcade game Galaxian, which was released by Namco in 1979. Galaxy Invasion was the first Big Five Software game to feature sound and music. In addition to the tune that plays during the title screen, there are many different sounds during the transitions between screens and when shots are fired. The game starts with your ship at the bottom of the screen and a formation of different kinds of aliens at the...

Meteor Mission II

Meteor Mission II

Tandy TRS-80 - Released - 1980

Meteor Mission 2, also known as Meteor Mission II, was based on Taito’s 1979 Lunar Rescue, although it differs from it in many ways. Despite the name, Meteor Mission 2 is not a sequel to Bill Hogue‘s earlier Meteor Mission. Amusingly, the first Alpha Products advertisement to feature Meteor Mission 2 mistakenly used pictures from Meteor Mission instead. The goal is to rescue astronauts who are stranded on the surface at the bottom of the screen. Your mission has two parts: the first is to pilot the spaceship and land it on one of the landing pads at the bottom of the screen. The second part...

Miner 2049er

Miner 2049er

Atari 5200 - Released - 1983

Miner 2049er is a platform video game created by Bill Hogue that was released in 1982 by Big Five Software. It was developed for the Atari 8-bit family and widely ported to other systems. The game was licensed in conjunction with International Computer Group.[citation needed] At the time of its release, Miner 2049er was notable for having ten different screens, which was a large number for a platform game.[1][2] For comparison, the Donkey Kong arcade game had four screens, and many home ports didn't include all of them. The title "Miner 2049er" evoked a 21st-century take on the California Gold...

Miner 2049er

Miner 2049er

ColecoVision - 1982

As Bounty Bob, the player's goal is to inspect every section of each mine in search of the evil Yukon Yohan while avoiding the various radioactive creatures that inhabit the mine. As Bounty Bob walks over a section of flooring, it fills with color. To complete the level, every section of flooring must be colored. There are ten mines in total (eleven in the ColecoVision port). Each level is timed and must be completed before the player runs out of oxygen. Along the way, Bob encounters many objects left behind by past miners. By collecting these, bonus points are achieved and the radioactive...

Miner 2049er

Miner 2049er

Atari 800 - Released - 1982

You play the part of Bounty Bob, and it is your mission to explore every inch of an abandoned mine. As you walk over floor sections in the mine, the floor will change color. When all of the floor sections have been changed in color, you can move on to the next, more challenging level. To reach all of the floor sections, you will need to figure out how to get there. You can jump (be careful not to fall too far though, or you will be squished), climb up and down ladders, and use different transportation devices that can be found on the levels (such as an elevator, slides, a springboard, or a...

Robot Attack

Robot Attack

Tandy TRS-80 - Released - 1981

Robot Attack was based on the arcade game Berzerk, which was released by Stern Electronics in 1980. The game concept itself is older than that, and can be found in any number of BASIC games, such as Chase, Robots, and Daleks. Robot Attack was notable as the first talking game released by Big Five Software. The game supports the TRISSTICK and Alpha Joystick, but not the original STICK-80 (unless you perform a hardware modification to it). In my opinion, it makes the best use of the joystick of any TRS‑80 game. One of the most distinguishing features of Robot Attack is the voice, which is...

Stellar Escort

Stellar Escort

Tandy TRS-80 - Released - 1980

Stellar Escort was written by Jeff Zinn, and it was the first game distributed by Big Five Software that wasn’t written by Bill Hogue. Stellar Escort has a very distinctive look because of the flashy transition effects when changing screens. There is always something in movement on the screen. Stellar Escort has a number of sound effects, but no music or voices. Most people considered the Big Five Software games to be the finest games ever written for the TRS‑80 Model I and III. They were sold directly through Big Five and were resold by many other companies. Radio Shack also sold Big...

Super Nova

Super Nova

Tandy TRS-80 - Released - 1980

Super Nova was based on the very popular arcade game Asteroids, which was released by Atari in 1979. It was the first big success for Bill Hogue and Big Five Software. Super Nova was originally available only on cassette tape. It required a Model I with 16K and Level I or Level II BASIC. Later, Big Five sold a disk version which saved high scores and required a 32K Model 1. They also sold both cassette and disk versions for the Model III. Rather than the arrow keys, Super Nova uses the R, T, O, and P keys to control the player, and the SPACEBAR to activate hyperspace. This might sound...

Weerd

Weerd

Tandy TRS-80 - Released - 1982

Weerd was written by Arthur Gleckler and released in 1982. It was the final TRS‑80 game released by Big Five, and only the second one not written by Bill Hogue. Weerd was released near the very end of the TRS‑80 game market. The goal in Weerd is to destroy the attacking aliens. The controls are pretty standard: LEFT ARROW and RIGHT ARROW to move and SPACEBAR to fire. But there are two additional controls: S to activate shields and SHIFT to move quickly. The shields are three barriers that stop shots from hitting you, but also stop you from shooting through them. Most aliens won’t pass...

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