Up Up And Away


Status: Full Game, Findability: 5/5

This game involved flying an hot air balloon across a slow scrolling landscape, dropping sandbags on enemies. The game was in fact released on the Atari 400 around the time with the same name, and was ported over to the C64 in two months.

Although this game was never properly released back in the day, it was released on a Grandslam/Argus Press compilation back in the early 90s.

Starcade, also released Savage Pond. they were at that time linked with Argus Press, but not owned by them. Therefore ‘Up Up and Away’ has always been owned by Starcade. When Argus Press was bought around 1986, it was renamed Grandslam by the new owners.

Originally, the game did apparently surface under the ‘Pulsar’ label, but was stopped quickly, as the company name clashed with another label. Eventually the game did surface under the ‘Starcade’ label until late ’85, when the company fell under due to problems with piracy and small sales.

So there we have it, the game *did* infact surface at some point… but not by its original company. So basically this game is not technically a unreleased game, but no-one has yet claimed to have owned the original Starcade release.   Well – until Håvar Bruvold Hojem did in 2016, when he purchased a Spanish copy of the game which was released by Argus Press.  So it was pretty much fully released, but not in the UK oddly it seems!

In 2013, Richard Bayliss very kindly made a back-up of his copy of the game from the Argus Press 1986 compilation in TAP format, which we have now added to this entry in the downloads section.

A neat little game, and a piece of Rob Hubbard to boot!…

Contributions: Chris, Tom Jones, Gwyll Jones, MSX, Richard Bayliss

Supporting content

Creator speaks

Gwyll Jones speaks about work on Up Up and Away…

“Talk about a blast from the past!!

Really enjoyed your web site – however, a couple of minor alterations for the web page on which you review ‘Up, up and away’.

‘Up, up and away’ was initially created for the Atari 400 game (touch pad keyboard etc …) and was ported to the C64 back in 1983/84. It took 2 months as the C64 was a new machine for me and I was used to the Atari.

1) The program was always owned by (and copyrighted to) Starcade Software – Argus press never owned it and were only actually our agents at the time – nothing more.

2) The program was ported (in a cold bedroom – no central heating back then, working up to 4.00am and then going to work at 8.00am) from the Atari version by myself.

3) Rob Hubbard (I think that was the name of the person we sub-contracted to) only coded the Music – he had no copyright to the music code either as he was paid up front. (In fact there was no original music in the game. At the time all music-bites’ had to be restricted to less that 10 -15 secs duration to avoid copyright claims from the composers.)

4) The game was originally released under the Pulsar label, we then ran into trouble as this name (together with Quasar) was owned by a major watch maufacturer of the time who threatened to sue us (even though we had paid good money for a professional company search which had indicated the name was available). Finally, we released under ‘Starcade’ which was the final label we used. So, this game was officially (and continued to be) released under the Starcade label up until ’85.

UUaA was really only a learning experience that turned into a game. If one is objective, you have to admit that it was limited even for the time. The real regret was that I never completed some of the other projects that I was working on.

Quite interesting though to trace the evolution of game writing from a single coder in the early 80’s to the teams of coders who specialise in music, graphics and gaming logic that we have now.

Also, I found it interesting that this prog was included in a Grandslam compilation – never knew that. :-)”

Tom Jones sheds some light on Up Up and Away:

“A Blast from the Past. Starcade produced these games in 1983. 1983 was a bad time for software companies as so many distributors placed large orders then took huge directors fees and went belly up.

Piracy also played its part,( as can be seen by online reviews,) because despite rave reviews these games which included French and Australian markets, are unplayable without the instructions. Gwyll Jones and Peter Judd did the programming for the Atari 800XL, Commodore 64, BBC and Elektron.

I think we were first to code a joystick to Elektron games.  I designed the games and Ron coded the music. We all had differing careers, so we passed the mantle to Argus Press and moved on.”

Update history

18/07/16 – Scans added thanks to Håvar Bruvold Hojem

10 Responses to Up Up And Away

  1. We discovered a couple of copies of what appears to be the original release of Up Up and Away yesterday. There’s a production error on some copies of Grid Gate for the Spectrum by Omega (1984). Instead of Grid Gate the tape contains the Up Up and Away for the C64! There are a few differences from the version which is preserved and available for download. E.g. it uses the system loader instead of a custom loader.

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