TRS-80 GAMING GUIDE

This document was created on 3/11/03, and last updated on Tuesday 6/10/09, by James Jacobs of Amigan Software. It deals with 21 selected games for the TRS-80 Model 1 Level 2 16K. Please email us with any corrections to this document.

Assault
Bill Dunlevy and Doug Frayer 19??
Machine code
Vavasour 3.01r Compatibility: 100%
TRS32 1.0c Compatibility: 100% (see below)
AmiTRS-80 1.0 Compatibility: 0%
HT1080Z 1.6 Compatibility: 100%
Asylum
Med Systems 1981
Machine code
Vavasour 3.01r Compatibility: 100%
TRS32 1.0c Compatibility: 100%
AmiTRS-80 1.0 Compatibility: 100%
HT1080Z 1.6 Compatibility: 100%
Attack Force
Big Five Software 1980
Machine code
Vavasour 3.01r Compatibility: 100%
TRS32 1.0c Compatibility: 100%
AmiTRS-80 1.0 Compatibility: 100%
HT1080Z 1.6 Compatibility: 100%
Bowling
Instant Software 1979
BASIC
Vavasour 3.01r Compatibility: 100%
TRS32 1.0c Compatibility: 100%
AmiTRS-80 1.0 Compatibility: 100%
HT1080Z 1.6 Compatibility: 100%
Cosmic Fighter
Big Five Software 1980
Machine code
Vavasour 3.01r Compatibility: 100%
TRS32 1.0c Compatibility: 100%
AmiTRS-80 1.0 Compatibility: 100%
HT1080Z 1.6 Compatibility: 100%
Count Adventure
Adventure International 19??
Machine code
Vavasour 3.01r Compatibility: 100%
TRS32 1.0c Compatibility: 100%
AmiTRS-80 1.0 Compatibility: 100%
HT1080Z 1.6 Compatibility: 100%
Dancing Demon
Tandy 1980
BASIC
Vavasour 3.01r Compatibility: 99%
TRS32 1.0c Compatibility: 100%
AmiTRS-80 1.0 Compatibility: 100%
HT1080Z 1.6 Compatibility: ?%
Deep Dive
Michael Lake 1983
BASIC
Vavasour 3.01r Compatibility: 100%
TRS32 1.0c Compatibility: 100%
AmiTRS-80 1.0 Compatibility: ?%
HT1080Z 1.6 Compatibility: ?%
Formula One
Tandy 19??
Machine code
Vavasour 3.01r Compatibility: 100%
TRS32 1.0c Compatibility: 100%
AmiTRS-80 1.0 Compatibility: 1%
HT1080Z 1.6 Compatibility: 100%
Invasion Force
Tandy 1979
Machine code
Vavasour 3.01r Compatibility: 100%
TRS32 1.0c Compatibility: 100%
AmiTRS-80 1.0 Compatibility: 1%
HT1080Z 1.6 Compatibility: 100%
Jungle Boy
Displayed Video 19??
Machine code
Vavasour 3.01r Compatibility: 100%
TRS32 1.0c Compatibility: 100%
AmiTRS-80 1.0 Compatibility: 100%
HT1080Z 1.6 Compatibility: 100%
Killer Cars
Richard Kipp 1982
BASIC
Vavasour 3.01r Compatibility: 100%
TRS32 1.0c Compatibility: 100%
AmiTRS-80 1.0 Compatibility: 100%
HT1080Z 1.6 Compatibility: ?%
Killer Gorilla
Displayed Video 19??
Machine code
Vavasour 3.01r Compatibility: 100%
TRS32 1.0c Compatibility: 100%
AmiTRS-80 1.0 Compatibility: 99%
HT1080Z 1.6 Compatibility: 100%
Mutant Attack
Tandy 1981
Machine code
Vavasour 3.01r Compatibility: 100%
TRS32 1.0c Compatibility: 100%
AmiTRS-80 1.0 Compatibility: 100%
HT1080Z 1.6 Compatibility: 100%
Oil Tycoon
Instant Software 1978
BASIC
Vavasour 3.01r Compatibility: 100%
TRS32 1.0c Compatibility: 100%
AmiTRS-80 1.0 Compatibility: 100%
HT1080Z 1.6 Compatibility: ?%
Outhouse
Machine code
Soft Sector Marketing 1982
Vavasour 3.01r Compatibility: 100%
TRS32 1.0c Compatibility: 100%
AmiTRS-80 1.0 Compatibility: 100%
HT1080Z 1.6 Compatibility: 100%
Paddle Pinball
Tandy 1981
Machine code
Vavasour 3.01r Compatibility: 100%
TRS32 1.0c Compatibility: 100%
AmiTRS-80 1.0 Compatibility: 100%
HT1080Z 1.6 Compatibility: 100%
Penetrator
Melbourne House 1982
Machine code
Vavasour 3.01r Compatibility: 99%
TRS32 1.0c Compatibility: 100% (see below)
AmiTRS-80 1.0 Compatibility: 100%
HT1080Z 1.6 Compatibility: 100%
Pyramid 2000
Tandy 19??
Machine code
Vavasour 3.01r Compatibility: 100%
TRS32 1.0c Compatibility: 100%
AmiTRS-80 1.0 Compatibility: 100%
HT1080Z 1.6 Compatibility: 100%
Quest
Brian Reynolds 19??
BASIC
Vavasour 3.01r Compatibility: 100%
TRS32 1.0c Compatibility: 100%
AmiTRS-80 1.0 Compatibility: 100%
HT1080Z 1.6 Compatibility: ?%
U-Boat
? 19??
BASIC
Vavasour 3.01r Compatibility: 100%
TRS32 1.0c Compatibility: 100%
AmiTRS-80 1.0 Compatibility: 100%
HT1080Z 1.6 Compatibility: ?%

Reviews and Game Help

Assault TRS32: Due to the way this program loads, using the "File|Run CMD file..." menu item will not work. Instead, you need to configure the TRS-80 as a 32K or 48K machine, then boot into LDOS and load the game from there (by typing ASSAULT at the prompt - after making sure that ASSAULT.DSK is in one of the four drives of course!).
Asylum "A very good hybrid graphics/text adventure, where movement is controlled by the arrow keys through a 3D setting and commands are typed in traditionally. There are many quality touches here, including a hint system and full vocabulary list, and the simple graphics do a good job of showing the rooms and various objects. The goal is to escape from an asylum filled with traditional hazards such as doctors and inmates, but also bizarre elements like transporters and vending machines with bombs available for purchase. Puzzles are mostly logical, although they're not exactly centered around an in-depth plot and some are pretty strange (at one point you're supposed to kill yourself with a knife). Typing in text commands and a few other parts of the game are a bit slow, but these are minor irritants. B." - Mark Sabbatini
Attack Force T-shaped aliens (ie. the ones which look identical to your own ship) must not be shot (nor touched), or you yourself will die. These aliens need not be destroyed to complete the level.

6 successive zaps by the same flagship will kill you. There is no way to avoid these zaps; you must kill the flagship before it kills you. After the first zap the flagship will stop animating.

Bowling "A simplistic text-based bowling simulation with a graphic depiction of the ball hitting pins to spruce things up a bit. Players select a zone (1-4) to launch the ball and how much hook to give it. The program shows the ball's path, pins knocked over and keeps score. OK for killing a few minutes once or twice, but not something likely to hold interest except for desperate bowlers. It avoids a lower grade due to good presentation and being free of annoyances and bugs. C-." - Mark Sabbatini
Cosmic Fighter "This Big Five Software release is similar to the basic space shooter Astro Blaster, with groups of aliens attacking in various patterns descending from the top of the screen. The player must wipe out a certain number of waves before running out of ships or fuel, after which the ship can dock with the mothership and gain the ability to fire multiple missiles at once (do not, under any circumstances, fire at the mothership). Almost everything works, including aliens that look fine despite the Model I's blocky graphics. But what's up with flagships that pop up occasionally and annihilate players before they have a fair chance to respond? B." - Mark Sabbatini
Count Adventure "This is 'classic adventure' number five in a series by Scott Adams, who wrote at least 14 text-based titles with themes ranging from an adaptation of the original Colossal Cave to space exploration. They appeared on many machines and have been written about extensively. The Count is reviewed here because it's one of his offbeat efforts, featuring a hero who's overslept in the Translvania castle and, after getting up, needs to find out mysteries such as why somebody sent him a bottle of blood. Not his best - it's a bit short - but is fun, logical, has useful built-in help and an example of how even ordinary efforts from a quality programmer are worth spending time on. B." - Mark Sabbatini
Formula One "Ugh. A bad version of one of those scrolling text-based auto racing games that exist by the dozen for every primitive computer. The only advantage this one has is it came from Radio Shack, so of course captive customers got suckered in by it. Even though you're allowed only one collision there's almost no challenge as the road doesn't vary enough to challenge anyone out of diapers. The only somewhat interesting aspect is the occasional 'rough' bit of road where maneuvering speed is reduced. Considering games like this have been written with a single line of BASIC, one can only wonder how stupid Tandy thought their customers were by putting the company's name on this product. D-." - Mark Sabbatini
Jungle Boy "This conversion of Jungle Hunt is probably as good as one can hope for given the graphics and speed limits of the TRS-80, but it's hard to see anyone but hardcore fans getting excited about it. All four screens from [the] coin-op are included and everything is depicted with graphics - blocky as they are - instead of letters and numbers. But the game moves at a rather leisurely pace as the constant horizontal scrolling of all those graphics take their toll on the CPU. There's also some pokey elements that could have been avoided, such as an annoying 'wipe' effect that occurs on virtually all transition screens during and between games. B-." - Mark Sabbatini
Killer Gorilla "A pretty good Donkey Kong conversion, most notably because it has all four of the coin-op's screens. It presents them all from the beginning (fine by me, since the seldom-seen cement factory is my favourite), complete with touches such as the opening and between-screen animations. Keyboard control is exceptional, animation is smooth and there's seldom a feeling of being dealt an unfair death, which even the coin-op is guilty of at times. The hitches are minor except for one thing - no hammers to strike back at enemies. This tilts things a little unfairly in the game's favour. Other hitches include overly chunky graphics, sparse sound and some levels that aren't perfect due to the horizontal screen - the top level of the barrel level is cut off, for instance. B." - Mark Sabbatini
The S key starts the game.
Mutant Attack "A ho-hum space shooter from Radio Shack best suited for new purchasers of the machine who needed something to do until their real software arrived from mail-order companies. A single row of blocky Space Invader-like aliens appear at the top of the screen and slowly descend vertically, taking turns changing into mutant worms and firing lots of shots at the player's ship as they progress. Players can only kill the creatures in worm form. It's a rather slow and monotonous game; the only real strategy is knowing that whatever you're shooting at now, it almost certainly won't be in that form by the time the missile arrives. C-." - Mark Sabbatini
Note that mutant bullets can "wrap" horizontally to the other side of the screen and kill you. This is presumably a bug.
Outhouse "A true TRS-80 classic that's fun, original and high in quality. You're in charge of a space ship protecting an outhouse that aliens for some reason are hell-bent on attacking. Plus there's a couple of squatters on the ground who keep trying to steal your limited supply of toilet paper. You can move and shoot in eight directions, although collisions with anything including your beloved outhouse are deadly. There's nothing here except the theme that hasn't been captured in some form before - Asteroids, Missile Command, Defender, etc. - but so what? Easily one of the first titles nostalgia buffs and newcomers should try out. A-." - Mark Sabbatini
Paddle Pinball "One of those games where you need to ignore the nagging voice in your brain asking 'why are you still playing this?'. The blocky graphics look almost nothing like a pinball table, the beep-and-blip sound is cheesy and at times you lose balls unfairly in unavoidable situations. Yet, it's got the 'one more time' addictiveness of the real thing. One to three players control a paddle at the bottom of the screen, knocking out the usual targets and bumpers, with the need to supplement hits with the spacebar regularly to boost the ball's speed (otherwise gravity causes it to just rest there). One of the better features is the ability to create and save tables. Radio Shack later did a version for the TRS-80 Color Computer, a far superior gaming machine (think Atari 2600 verses Colecovision), and yet it is one of the worst programs ever written for that machine. More proof creativity beats CPU power. B." - Mark Sabbatini
Penetrator "Imagine spending all day cooking a great meal, then emptying a dustpan of dirt on it just before serving. Who would do such a stupid thing? Similarly, why do games like this Scramble clone have so much promise wrecked by one or two truly stupid programming decisions? The mission is close to the arcade, as one or two players navigate a helicopter through five continuously horizontally scrolling landscapes and caves, bombing and shooting fatal obstacles such as rockets. The levels are somewhat different than the arcade, emphasizing navigating through tricky passages instead of varying enemies such as meteors and UFOs, and there are no fuel tanks the player must shoot to keep the helicopter airborne. A training setting allows unlimited lives for any of the four 'pre-boss' stages and a program to edit the landscapes is provided. Graphics are decent, although they flicker a bit. The main problem? IT'S THE CONTROLS. The right arrow button is used to both fire (if you press it quickly) and thrust (if you hold it down). It's absurd, totally unnecessary and leads to far too many undeserved deaths. C-." - Mark Sabbatini
An enhanced version, which fixes the controls problem described above and reduces player wait times, are now available from Amigan Software (PEN!-CAS), on the Abandonware Page.
The PEN-CAS.DSK file apparently contains a ripped version of Penetrator from cassette, which seems to have been patched for use with certain emulators. This file will not work on TRS32 nor on an authentic TRS-80. This situation has been investigated and confirmed by Matthew Reed. For use with this emulator, and authentic TRS-80s, we suggest PEN-DSK.DSK, which is a bona fide autobooting disk version (including level editor, etc.). (Unfortunately an enhanced version of it (ie. PEN!-DSK.DSK) is not available due to copy protection issues.)
Pyramid 2000 "This text adventure is a classic example of why there's a temptation to apply the Lite label to Radio Shack products - everything you'd expect, except one-third less. It's a serviceable explore-and-gather treasure hunt, but lacking imagination since it's essentially a subset of the original Adventure game. It's also frustrating due to a small vocabulary and some evil programming that makes navigating the infamous maze ridiculously hard. Like many Radio Shack programs it sold well because it was easily available in stores, but Infocom and Scott Adams titles are far superior. It should be noted, however, this version of Pyramid is much better than another adventure of a similar name from Aardvark Software, which sold a number of titles written in BASIC designed to run on most major computers of the era. As such, they were so generic and sparse they were often almost completely without entertainment value. C." - Mark Sabbatini
Quest Cursor keys: move
F: fight hand-to-hand
H: drink healing potion
M: fire magic arrow
N: fire normal arrow
T: throw holy water
U-Boat Screen layout is as follows:

Top left Message display, and fuel and power of your submarine, as pointed to by the arrows.
Top centre Periscope view.
Top right Information display.
Centre Degrees heading.
Bottom left Your controls.
Bottom centre Sonar display.
Bottom right: Ship symbols, as used in the sonar display.

To fire, turn left or right until your "degrees" (degrees heading) is roughly equal to the degrees of what you want to kill, then press 0 to fire.

Keys must be held down for approximately one second.

Emulator Usage

Name:TRS-80 Model 1 EmulatorTRS32AmiTRS-80HT1080Z
Coder:Jeff VavasourMatthew ReedRed Skull, Simon GoodwinAttila Grosz
Platform:MS-DOSWindowsAmigaOSWindows
Compatibility:GoodGoodFairGood
Version:3.01r1.18 (27 Jan 2008)1.0 (21 Dec 2002)1.6 (2007)
Source code:Yes, for 3.02uNoYesNo
Language:Assembler?C, assembler?

Vavasour 3.01r:

Machine code programs (.CMD on .DSK):

(1) Boot with LDOS.DSK in drive 0 and game disk (eg. FOO.DSK containing FOO.CMD) in another drive.
(2) Type the date and time, to get to LDOS command prompt.
(3) Type the name of the game, eg. FOO will search all drives for FOO.CMD and run it.

BASIC programs (.BAS on .DSK):

(1) Boot with LDOS.DSK in drive 0 and game disk (eg. FOO.DSK containing FOO.BAS) in another drive.
(2) Type the date and time, to get to LDOS command prompt.
(3) Type BASIC.
(4) Type RUN "FOO/BAS:1" to run, eg. FOO.BAS from drive 1.

TRS32 1.0c:

Machine code programs (.CMD):

(1) Ensure you are in 48K mode.
(2) Press Alt-F5 (or choose the File|Run /CMD File... menu item).
(3) Type or double-click the filename, eg. FOO.CMD, in the requester.

BASIC programs (.BAS on .DSK):

(1) Boot with LDOS.DSK in drive 0 and game disk (eg. FOO.DSK containing FOO.BAS) in another drive.
(2) Type the date and time, to get to LDOS command prompt.
(3) Type BASIC.
(4) Type RUN "FOO/BAS:1" to run, eg. FOO.BAS from drive 1.

AmiTRS-80 1.0:

Machine code programs (.CMD):

(1) Click RESET and/or press ENTER if necessary.
(2) Click LOAD/CMD.
(3) Type the filename, eg. FOO.CMD, in the requester.

BASIC programs (.BAS):

(1) Click RESET and/or press ENTER if necessary.
(2) Click LOADCASS.
(3) Type the filename, eg. FOO.BAS, in the requester.
(4) Type CLOAD.
(5) Type RUN.

HT1080Z 1.6:

Machine code programs (.CMD):

(1) Choose the File|Autostart file... menu item.
(2) Type or double-click the filename, eg. FOO.CMD, in the requester.

BASIC programs (.BAS):

(1) Boot with LDOS.DSK in drive 0.
(2) Type the date and time, to get to LDOS command prompt.
(3) Type BASIC.
(4) Choose the File|Load or type BAS/TXT... menu item.
(5) Type or double-click the filename, eg. FOO.BAS, in the requester.

BASIC programs (.BAS on .DSK):

(1) Boot with LDOS.DSK in drive 0 and game disk (eg. FOO.DSK containing FOO.BAS) in another drive.
(2) Type the date and time, to get to LDOS command prompt.
(3) Type BASIC.
(4) Type RUN "FOO/BAS:1" to run, eg. FOO.BAS from drive 1.

Emulator Compatibility Issues

Known Vavasour 3.01r compatibility problems:

Various:Sounds are played as 'clicks' rather than tones (under Windows, at least). This applies whether the internal speaker or the SoundBlaster is used. To enable SoundBlaster output for MS-DOS programs (such as this emulator) under Windows you need to either have a proper DOS driver for your sound card, or software such as VDMSound.
Penetrator:Title logo is drawn incorrectly.

Known AmiTRS-80 1.0 compatibility problems:

Assault:Will not load (hangs emulator).
Formula One, Invasion Force:Cannot start game (hangs game).
Killer Gorilla:Flickering score area.

Known TRS32 1.18 issues:

Penetrator:The patched cassette version (as found on PENE-CAS.DSK) doesn't work when loaded from DSK via LDOS, but does work when loaded as CMD ("File|Run /CMD file..."). This is not really an emulator compatibility bug (since it also happens on a real TRS-80). We suggest use of PENE-DSK.DSK (see above).

Known HT1080Z compatibility problems:

Killer Gorilla:Flickering score area.

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