1983 Creative Software
Platform: Commodore VIC-20
Survivor Run is an original game that Creative Software were due to release back in 1983 – an original creation by Steven Yaeger that he had sold to the company.
The aim of the game was to travel down several screens to beam up a survivor trapped at the bottom of a crater on a remote planet. To do so, you would have to carefully burn through the floor using your thrusters, or use one of your limited bombs.
However, whilst trying to go about your business, there are a number of bases at the sides which can fire heat seeking missiles at you. You must use your side and bottom thrusters to maneuverer yourself away from these, either shooting them with your side guns or luring them into the other bases (to destroy them) or into each other.
If you don’t manage to avoid the missiles, or hit the floor/sides – then your ship will explode into a collection of pixels – ala Defender-style.
Once you manage to get to a survivor, you must carefully position yourself over them and beam them up by pressing down. The game will then take you right back to the mothership to let them onboard, before leaving you to move onto the next harder stage.
The game was fully complete, and Creative Software had paid Steve in full for the game. Sadly, the timing was a little too late – and it was decided not to release the game due to Creative Softwar abandoning the VIC-20 market to focus on the Commodore 64.
Thankfully, Steven kept a copy of all his source code and when speaking to him about the possibility of seeing something of the game, he kindly built everything into a cartridge image to add to the website. So, here it is for the first time ever, and 40 years after its original intended release date!
As you will see from the screens and for yourself, it is a superbly presented title with some wonderful graphics, animations and presentation throughout. The game itself is fun to play, but is also a massive challenge too.
It’s easy enough to drop bombs on the floor and get your first survivor without too much effort, but after that – you need to use your thrusters to burn through the floor – and this can take some getting use to. It becomes even trickier when you have homing missiles to contend with too!
Take a look for yourself and enjoy. Although I have a huge soft spot for VIC-20 titles, and it pleases me to see a title for the platform saved – it is a huge shame that it didn’t get the proper release that it deserved. It could well have been considered a classic, had it been.
With a huge thank you to Steven Yaeger for recovering and providing a copy of his work.