Elite

  • Firebird Software

  • FormatVideo & Arcade
  • TypeSimulation
  • SystemMicrocomputer

Elite is a space trading game, where you begin with a lightly armed trading ship and 100 credits to make money legally or illegally, trade, bounty hunt, pirate and even assassinate your way across the galaxy. 

Elite contains a whopping eight galaxies, each populated with 256 planets         Steven Howlett

Further credits can be acquired through predominately trading in a range of goods (some illegal) from system to system.

The money earned enables the player to upgrade their ship with better weapons, increased cargo capacity, an extra energy bank and the much coveted automated space station docking system. Elite contains a whopping eight galaxies, each populated with 256 planets to freely explore. It’s a testimony to the developers coding ingenuity how they managed to pack this massive universe into a paltry 48KB memory. The only negative aspect of Elite is that the publisher incorporated the infamous Lenslok copy protection device. This tiny piece of plastic housed a row of prisms, which the player placed over the TV screen at the start of a game to descramble a two letter code. Without the code you can’t play the game. The system wasn’t perfect and after three failed attempts the computer resets and you are forced to reload the game. Elite is regarded by many retro faming fans as the measure by which all other space trading / combat games are judged against.

It’s no surprise that the developers successfully raised over a million pounds through a KickStarter campaign in 2013 to develop a new updated version of the game, which was released in December 2014.

Review by Author Steven Howlett:

Book available from Amazon here: Diary Of An 80s Computer Geek 

Follow him on Twitter here too: sj_howlett

Spectrum 48k Elite Gameplay
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Elite - manual docking at Lave station (ZX Spectrum)

  • Firebird Software

  • FormatVideo & Arcade
  • TypeSimulation
  • SystemMicrocomputer

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