New game released: EXPLORER

ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
© 1989/2015 Luca Bordoni


In far 1981, EXPLORER was a clone of my favourite game, Scramble. Once I've seen an alternate vertical-scrolling version in a TV show, I always wondered its title (internet was far light years in that period)... Years later I discovered it was CAVERNS OF MARS by Atari.

So in 1989 I've written a Basic version of the game, using the ZX Spectrum POKE 23692,0 to scroll vertically the whole screen. I actually never liked it, there was too much flickering and lack of any gameplay info... a crap release!

Today i've completed the restoration of my old game, including an Assembly routine to scroll a screen window, in order to show detailed gameplay informations. New font-set added as well (exactly the same taken from the original arcade), a bit of improvements and here it is!... It still lacks of smoothness, due to the character-based movement... but this time I like the feeling very much!

Especially dedicated to early-software enthusiasts ;-)

Guide your ship through six enemy zones and destroy the final base.
Hit red tanks to increase fuel.
Hit purple tanks to gain random points.

Missiles    ...  50 Pts
UFOs        ...  80 Pts
Fuel tanks  ... 100 Pts
Oil tanks   ... Mystery
Base        ... 800 Pts

Once the task has been accomplished, a flag denoting a completed mission is posted at the bottom right of the screen, then the game will reboot and speed will increase.

Default controls are compatible with a cursor-joystick:
LEFT = 5 / RIGHT = 8 / FIRE = 0
Keyboard controls can be redefined through the "Setup Keys" menu.

A first release of this game was written in Basic in far 1989, known as "Space Chase". It was a weak attempt to play a vertical clone of my favourite arcade game at the time.

In 2015 the code was totally rewritten and compiled with Boriel's ZX Basic (, revisiting the graphics and bringing a bit of shine.

Special thanks to Chris Cowley for the start tune!

© 1989/2015 Luca Bordoni




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