|Gwobby - 26/01/2012|
At last there's an NTSC version of DropZone available! Details here:
|steve - 04/07/2009|
Upon seeing and playing this game for the first time(all those years ago) it seemed to of come from another planet. The crisp graphics, sharp sound and incredible speed at which this game played blew us all away. The programmer pushed the atari's potential to the limit and then some. Upon the intro screen you know this game is not kidding. Today this feat of programming is appreciated even more greatly in retrospect. Outstanding game.
|ElB - 04/10/2008|
Archer Maclean teamed up with another British legend, snooker player Jimmy "Whirlwind" White, and they had quite a franchise going for a while with jmplementations on a range of platforms. The relevance? Jimmy White's Cueball 2 for the PC has a Dropzone arcade machine in one of the rooms. :)
|Auntie Pastie - 22/03/2008|
Byte; "All-American Software" was in U.S. Gold's logo because they started life as a UK distributor of games by American companies (Synapse, Datasoft, etc.) They stuck with that logo for quite a long time, even though it was no longer strictly true. As for Dropzone, it was a very well-developed game that had a real, quality "arcade feel" to it. Pretty hard though!
|Byte - 21/08/2007|
After reading the quote "in 1987 or 1988, I saw a double page ad for it in a US magazine and bought a copy to run on a US machine. It didn't look or play too good because it was tuned for a European machine, and it looked real bad, almost embarrassing" it's actually quite funny is seeing U.S. Gold use the phrase "All American Software" in the logo on the tape cover.
|Pengwin - 23/07/2007|
One of my favourite games on any platform. This was a perfect example of how games should be written: with playability in mind.
|Paul Westphal - 01/07/2007|
Wow! Of all the games I had back in the day, I wish I would have played this.It would have increased my patience level tenfold.It is a bit hard at first, but you get a feel for it after a while. Sound=A Graphics=A Gameplay=A Note: If only the C64 guys could have seen this when we were comparing systems!
|Atari 4ever - 09/04/2007|
This is best games on atari 8 bit !
|Maggi1971 - 01/01/2007|
"Squeezing the hardware in the Atari 800 to its limits and making it better than anything else then available. What was more amazing to me was the challenge of making it work on the less capable Commodore 64. It was a real nightmare implementation, but I did it."
Enough said. A true classic indeed (on the Atari!). Archer Maclean is still a programmig god for me. He designed only a few games, but he always kicked the players butt.
|Jonny EOL - 11/11/2006|
I found this one a bit hard to get going on, but once I had a feel for it, there was no going back. The sheer quality of the graphics alongside the speed of gameplay offered an experience never quite equalled. Those trailer invasions and anti-matter balls, meanwhile.....
|Roger - 13/06/2006|
How stupid of me, I was so excited that I found info on this game that I didn't even notice I could download this game from this website. Can't wait to get home from work and spend countless hours playing it again!!!!!!!!!!
|Blair - 22/05/2006|
Dropzone is one of the best 8bit games ever. The quality and attention to detail is amazing.
|Nixon - 17/04/2006|
completely agree on that...it's the best looking shootin game at arcade speed that i ever seen on an 8bit atari ...maybe it is the best maybe some other game is ;)
|Lewis D'Aubin - 07/04/2006|
The author's account of writing this game for 50hz PAL systems explains why the game runs so heart stoppingly fast on a 60hz Atari! Best Atari action game EVER. When this came out, I never played Defender again!!!
|Houdi - 06/08/2005|
Quite simply the best scrolling shoot 'em up of all time. Archer MacLean's 'Defender' clone was way ahead of its time using the Atari's superior capabilities and showing exactly why it was the best 8-bit machine ever produced.
|BrunoN - 28/05/2004|
This game fucking rules. One of the best(best?) shootem ups on small atari. Incredibly fast paced game. And check that explosions :)
|Other versions with the same title: |
Excerpts from an interview with Archer Maclean by James Hague:
JH: 'What's the story of your first published game, Dropzone?'
AM: 'After getting my degree with the minimum amount of work - too much game programming, aided by copious liquid inspiration - I eventually decided to try and produce a game which at least equaled the quality, speed and gameplay of the arcade games of the time. So I took inspiration from Scramble, Defender, Stargate, Galaxian and many others and went for it. It took me about six months to come up with something looking so good it could be an arcade cabinet and I started showing it. It was a great feeling to see big crowds build up, blocking the aisles, around at various computer shows. It wasn't long before pioneering publishers / sharks were making offers to publish it. In those days, publishers and contracts were mutually exclusive terms, but I did strike up a contractual deal with one of the big UK-based publishers.
The name Dropzone wasn't applied to my effort until it was nearly all wrapped up and ready for duplication. It was very colorful, ran at a constant 50Hz, had masses of lumps of graphics flying around everywhere, lots of explosions and stacks of tiny animated touches that I didn't expect anyone to notice. But it was a huge hit over here in 1984-5 and deemed well ahead of its time. It was number one for months and remained available for five or six years.
Trouble was, the publisher had told me it was no longer in production about eighteen months after releasing it and stopped paying royalties. But they didn't know that I traveled a lot and saw it for sale all over Europe and in Australia, and I used to buy copies of my game, get receipts for it, and often take photos on site too. And my contract with them prevented them selling it outside of Europe. Then in 1987 or 1988, I saw a double page ad for it in a US magazine and bought a copy to run on a US machine. It didn't look or play too good because it was tuned for a European machine, and it looked real bad, almost embarrassing.
On returning to the UK, I sought legal advice on the subject. After four years of "we've done nothing wrong" type defenses from the publisher and masses of leg-work by myself, I got them to settle out of court for copyright infringement. Once I had recovered royalties rightfully due to me, I bought my first Ferrari. I still have one now, a 288 GTO.'
JH: 'What was your favorite part of Dropzone, on a technical level?'
AM: 'Squeezing the hardware in the Atari 800 to its limits and making it better than anything else then available. What was more amazing to me was the challenge of making it work on the less capable Commodore 64. It was a real nightmare implementation, but I did it.'
JH: 'Do you ever drag out a Commodore 64 or Atari 800 and play your old games?'
AM: 'Yes, every now and then I get the Atari 800 out and play some of the classics. Three years ago, I showed the original Dropzone to a games journalist on my PC's monitor, without him seeing the old machine. He said "this is a nice and simple great blast, really addictive! When's it coming out?"'