The Game: As space pilot Buck Rogers, you pilot an agile star fighter across a hazardous alien landscape, dodging buildings and destroying enemy vessels. (Sega, 1983)
Memories: Bearing only the most superficial resemblance – just the design of the star fighter – to the television series of the same name, Buck Rogers: Planet of Zoom may seem like nothing terribly special these days, but at the time, it was a breakthrough in 3-D, not-quite-first-person aerial/space combat video games – from the same people who brought you Zaxxon, the first vaguely-3-D game.
Buck Rogers was also a horrendously repetetive and simple game, easily dwarfed by the more elaborate tactics of such home console 3-D shooters as Imagic’s similar Moonsweeper.
Buck Rogers was also one of the most fractured licensing deals in video game history. Coleco had rights to create a version of the game for the ColecoVision, while Sega retained its own rights to market versions of the game for such platforms as the Atari 2600 and 5200 (!). In all honesty, the 5200 version looks nice, but I seem to recall the ColecoVision/ADAM version – which was called, for some reason, Super Buck Rogers: Planet of Zoom – being vastly superior in a graphic sense.