Buck Rogers: Planet Of Zoom

Buck Rogers: Planet Of ZoomThe 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 3 quarters5200 (!). 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.