After the quite frankly fantastic Starquake we decided to stick around in the great black void for our next entry in the Your Sinclair Top 100, as we pick up No.#16 in we notice we’ve got here from Firebird a short story and a keyboard overlay hidden in this huge box. I’m guessing Elite is worthy of a numerous bells and whistles.
Elite first arrived on the BBC Micro and Acorn Electron – by Ian Bell & David Braben – back in September 1984 and it was huge! This epic, 3D wireframe space adventure game was so huge it was quickly converted to practically every other platform available at the time, including the ZX Spectrum. The Speccy conversion arrived in 1985 from Torus, who was in this case were Philip Mochan, Ricardo J.M. Pinto, Dominic Prior and Mark Wighton.
The rather grand space adventure game sees you taking the seat in your own starship with the rank of Commander, the galaxy is yours to traverse and to do unto what you’d like; however there will be repercussions. You can take the clean-cut trading route and make your fortune by playing the market between solar-systems; or perhaps you want to play the black market with trading in a few slaves, you’ll earn more but you will attract the attention of the higher powers; or you could take the adrenaline fueled route, becoming both the bounty hunter and military gamer; or perhaps you want to get your space gloves dirty with panning for rare minerals in asteroids? The choices are yours, for this is Elite.
Elite – when it arrived – was the bar-setter; games wanted to be it and they often tried to reach its heady heights but just couldn’t. However, time has come along and Frontier Developments has released Elite: Dangerous, if any old gamers have picked up this new baton and have attempted to return to Elite they’re possibly looking at it like myself now and thinking, ‘Yeah, this was great but now I have Elite: Dangerous’.
Please don’t think I’m completely deriding this classic – for it is – Elite will always have a place on the “Shelf of Honour” within my heart, however it’s something that has been surpassed by its offspring and it really just doesn’t cut the mustard anymore.