In a show of corporate pettiness, your target in this game is Apple Computers' manufacturing base. Steve Jobs was prepared for this seemingly-unlikely occurrence, and has a fleet of fighters out to shoot you down. Be careful to stay within the earth's atmosphere, and use your 35 bombs and 60 lasers wisely, dropping bombs on the structures and shooting down the enemy fleet. After the plant is destroyed the game loops. It was written in BASIC, and all graphics in the game are ASCII characters.
This ancient game was probably developed for internal use at IBM but presumably leaked. This horizontally scrolling shoot-em-up was written in IBM Basic and only features ASCII characters as graphical elements. Nevertheless, IBM managed to create a lifelike flight simulation with awesome sound effects and spectacular visuals. Nah... just kidding :) But, you've got to remember, we're talking 1982 on the PC platform here, so what can you expect?
The objective of the game is simple: shoot approaching enemy fighters and nuke buildings on the ground. You get points for everything you destroy, and dropping a bomb on top of the Apple factory (the one creating all those pesky Macintosh computers with their fancy schmancy graphical interface and everything) gets you the highest amount. You've got to take care you don't waste your ammo, since you only have a limited amount, but other than that, it's just flying up and down, shooting your lasers and dumping the occasional bomb on unsuspecting IBM competitors.
The controls are simple and done through the numeric keyboard. '8' and '2' will make your plane go up and down and '5' will stop the movement. '6' fires your laser, a fierce red piercing beam that's sure to eliminate everything in its path. Pressing '4' drops a 10 kiloton asterisk on top of a building. That's it. Don't get hit by an enemy, and don't fly to low to the ground, or you'll surely perish. Sound effects consist of an occasional speaker blip. It's a pretty basic game, but if you don't mind the lack of graphics or sound, you can still have a bit of fun with it.
One of the most interesting games ever made, IBM's archaic 1982 game Attack would go down in history as just another mundane, primitive Paratrooper clone, if not for the fact that it could very well be the first game about corporate warfare. As the in-game instructions make clear: "your mission is to destroy the Apple Computer manufacturing plant. You are alloted 35 bombs and 60 lasers. There are Apple-owned fighters trying to stop you, you must destroy them with your lasers. If you get hit by them then you are destroyed. If you go out of the atmosphere (the blue line), then you loose [sic] all control except laser and bombs, and your ship will begin falling. Drop bombs on all structures and you will get points. The Apple Plant is worth the most points. If your score is high enough after round one then you are ready to face round two."
There you have it: a proof of IBM's attitude towards Apple that could be admitted as courtroom evidence ;) Gameplay is very primitive-- the game was written in BASIC, and the only "graphics" in the game are moving ASCII characters that represent the Plant, planes, etc. Not much fun to play at all. Attack deserves a place here more as an interesting display of well-publicized friction between Apple and IBM, but that reason should be enough for historical buffs to try it out :)
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