1K ATASCII Blaster

A space shooter for the 8-Bit Atari computers that fits in less than one kilobyte? Impossible! Or is it...

The idea

The idea behind this game is already part of its name: how much fun and technical capabilities can one fit into one single, tiny kilobyte? In times where the size of games has risen to many gigabytes, the fun you get from playing them has not necessarily risen the same way. This is probably one of the reasons why retro games have become so popular. But even with those games there is a trend to - relatively moderately - rising demands of memory and hardware add-ons.

In contrast, the first homecomputer generation Ataris bring with them so many features and gadgets that can be brought to live with just a few commands. So what can one expect from a game of just a mere kilobyte - much less than an empty Word document nowadays consumes?
For example, a horizontal scrolling space-shooter in which the landscape is generated on the fly based on the much neglected ATASCII graphical character set. Decorate this with the typical colorful capabilities of the Atari as well as an increasing level of difficulty (from 1000 points onwards it gets really difficult :) ) - here's 1K ATASCII Blaster!


The instructions for playing are obviously quite simple: Boot up the game, press fire and shoot away to crack the highscore - and watch out, it's not enough to clear just one row, as this is still too small for your spaceship, two rows are the minimum :)...


1K ATASCII Blaster on cassette is available for sale now, only 50 shrink-wrapped units made!
Pricing is 9.99 Euros for ABBUC members and 14.99 Euros for everyone else. For worldwide shipping please add 4.50 Euros or 2.50 Euros within Germany.

This is your chance for a very special flashback to the 1980s: Want to show your kids, nieces or nephews both what kind of games we played back then AND show them the sounds and the suffering we had to endure while the tapes were loading? With this double pack consisting of 1K ATASCII Blaster and Floppy Bird, you can do so, but show results without long waits: both games load in less than 45 seconds - slow enough for those sweet memories, but fast enough to avoid frustration :)...

To order your tape, send me an e-mail to "midijoy (ät) phobotron dot de" and you'll receive further details.


This game is also meant as a starting point for further developments by the community - because it certainly would be nice if there were some kind of enemies in the ATASCII landscape, or if one could blast away with two players. But for this, 1.000 bytes are not enough even for such a versatile machine as our Atari. Therefore, you can access the source code here and add your own ideas based on the original game.
Use and redistribution of this source code is governed by the Creative Commons license Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).

Enjoy playing and have fun destroying (respectfully) the ATASCII landscapes!