Archive for the ‘Vic-20’ Category

Jupiter Lander

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

It’s hard to believe that a scant two dozen or so years ago the games that we know as the throwaway games you play in your browser when you have a spare five minutes were full, standalone products that wild-eyed kids (and some adults) would play, often for hours. Games that took one basic concept and sold it as a complete gaming experience. Games that just get harder the longer you play them, with the only reward being a higher score that was lost the instant you turned the power off. Games like Jupiter Lander.

Jupiter Lander tasks you with safely landing a craft that looks like the Lunar Lander (but it’s not, obviously) on some planetary surface, probably Jupiter.

You are capable of thrusting in three directions: left, right, and up. Each thrust eats up precious fuel, but you have to use your thrusters to slow your craft down to a non-crashing speed. Non-crashing in this case means between 0 and 0.5 miles per hour in any direction. Anything faster than means that your Lander explodes. It seems a little harsh.

You can choose to land on any one of several landing sites on the planet’s surface. The harder it is to navigate to the landing site, the more points you’ll get, but you’ll use more fuel.

People would spend hours upon hours on this game. Landing the same ship on the same planetary surface over and over again. I am not one of those people. I spent maybe three dozen minutes total on this game before I gave up, and those were 1998 minutes. With attention spans today, that’s roughly equivalent to three hours, which is more than enough.