The Game: You’re an intrepid X-Wing pilot participating in the last-ditch Rebel attempt to destroy the Death Star – before it destroys the Rebel base on Yavin IV. TIE Fighters try to intercept you, but you can destroy them (as well as use your own lasers to blast their incoming fire out of the sky). Then you move in to attack the Death Star itself, with its incredibly hazardous system of gunnery towers and bunkers. Once you’ve gotten past the surface defenses, you dive into the trench that will lead you to an exhaust port which is the only means of destroying the Death Star – but there are defenses in the trench as well, and your deflector shields can only take so much… (Domark / Zeppelin Games Ltd., 1988)
Memories: Years after Parker Brothers’ lumpen version of Atari’s Star Wars arcade game, someone finally had the decency to bring Atari’s hit game home to Atari’s home computers in a form that’s worth playing. And as luck would have it, North American Atari 8-bit owners didn’t get to see this one – it was a British exclusive release.
In the late 1980s, as the home computer revolution took hold, the license for Atari’s Star Wars arcade game changed hands again (and still didn’t wind up back with Atari itself). Broderbund turned out new computer versions of the game in the U.S., while Domark had the Force on its side across the pond. This dandy version, though not without its problems, is the result.
Domark’s Star Wars, available on floppy disk and (for the brave and the patient) cassette, manages to beat the Parker Brothers version almost across the board. In its own way, this version of the game uses vector graphics just like the arcade. Naturally, on a home raster monitor these graphics emerge as blocky line-art versions of TIE Fighters, towers, etc., but in most cases, despite the computer’s resources being freed up from having to draw and fill on-screen sprites, this game can be considerably slower than the Parker Brothers edition.
Overall, it’s a much more satisfying game experience. Not perfect, but definitely within a light year of the arcade “feel” that gamers were craving at home.