Space Panic is a 1980 arcade game designed by Universal. Chris Crawford calls it the first ever platform game, as it pre-dates Nintendo's Donkey Kong (from 1981) which is often cited as the original platform game. Space Panic lacks Donkey Kong's jump mechanic, disqualifying it as a platformer for some. The main character digs holes in the platforms that he must lure the aliens into. He must then hit them to knock them out of the hole and off the screen. In later levels, two holes must be lined up vertically in order to dispose of the aliens. There is also a limited supply of oxygen.
Origins and legacy
The premise of the game (digging holes to trap aliens) is likely to have been inspired by the then contemporary Heiankyo Alien (a 1979 game first released in arcades in 1980),[ but while that game is set in a maze viewed from above, Space Panic used platforms and ladders viewed from the side. ]
While Space Panic may have indirectly influenced all subsequent platform games, Space Panic certainly directly influenced some very similar "trap-em-up" games at the time.[ These included some almost identical clones such as ]Acornsoft's Monsters (for the BBC Micro and Acorn Electron) and the Apple II's Apple Panic (1981) as well as the popular Lode Runner (1983), which looked very similar and used the basic premise of digging holes to trap enemies. Universal revisited the genre again with Mr. Do's Castle (1983) which incorporated and expanded upon many of the play styles explored in this seminal game.
Ports and clones
|1981||Apple Panic||Brøderbund||Apple II, Atari 8-bit, PC Booter, VIC-20|
|1982||Panic||Visions Software Factory||ZX Spectrum|
|1982||Monsters||Acornsoft||BBC Micro, Acorn Electron|
|1983||Bonka||J. Morrison (Micros) Ltd.||Dragon 32/64|
|1983||Cuthbert Goes Digging||Microdeal||TRS-80 Color Computer, Dragon 32|
|1986||Panik!||Atlantis||Commodore 16, BBC Micro, Acorn Electron, Atari 8-bit|
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