company_name = Acornsoft
company_type = Computer software, Video game developer and publisher
company_slogan =
foundation = 1982
location = Cambridge, United Kingdom
key_people =
num_employees =
industry = Computer software, Video games
revenue =
products = "Elite, Revs", "Starship Command", "Countdown to Doom", "Arcadians", "Snapper"

Acornsoft was the software arm of Acorn Computers Ltd, and was a major publisher of software for the BBC Micro and Acorn Electron. As well as games, they also produced a large number of educational titles, extra computer languages and business and utility packages - these included ROM-based word processor "VIEW" and the spreadsheet Acornsoft ViewSheet which Acorn supplied on ROM chips/cartridges for the BBC Micro/Acorn Electron and included as standard in the BBC Master and Acorn Business Computer.

While many of their games were clones or remakes of popular arcade games ("Hopper" = "Frogger", "Snapper" = "Pac-Man", "Arcadians" = "Galaxian"), they also published a number of original, innovative titles (such as "Revs" and "Elite") that went on to spawn entire genres that live on to this day.

Acornsoft also published a number of text adventure games by authors such as Peter Killworth, including "Philosopher's Quest" and "Countdown to Doom", that remain highly regarded within the interactive fiction community.

Although Acorn continued releasing office software in the "VIEW" family under the Acornsoft name for the BBC Master series, they sold the Acornsoft games brand and back catalogue to Superior Software in 1986. Many games were re-released by them, often as part of compilations such as the "Play It Again Sam" and "Acornsoft Hits" series. The Acornsoft brand was also used on the packaging of all subsequent Superior games. Superior chose not to take on Acornsoft's text adventure games, most of which were released in updated versions by Topologika along with some sequels from the same authors.

elect titles

* Acheton - A text adventure, floppy disc based.
* Arcadians - A Galaxian clone
* Aviator - A Spitfire flight simulator. With aliens...
* Bouncer - A Q*Bert clone
* Carousel - A Carnival clone
* Castle of Riddles - A text adventure
* Countdown to Doom - A text adventure; first in a trilogy (although sequels "Return to Doom" and "Last Days of Doom" were not published by Acornsoft)
* Crazy Tracer - An Amidar clone
* Drogna - Strategy game based on a section of the BBC TV game show "The Adventure Game".
* Elite - A 3D space battle and trading game
* Firebug - A platform and ladders game
* Free Fall - Survival game set in an out of control space station
* Gateway to Karos - A text adventure
* Hopper - A Frogger clone
* JCB Digger - A 2d dig-em-up
* Kingdom of Hamil - A text adventure
* Labyrinth - A 2d maze shoot-em-up
* Magic Mushrooms - A platform and ladders game with built in level editor
* Meteor Mission - A Lunar Rescue clone
* Meteors - An Asteroids clone
* Missile Base - A Missile Command clone
* Monsters - A Space Panic clone, similar to Lode Runner
* Philosopher's Quest - A text adventure
* Planetoid - A Defender clone originally released as "Defender"
* Revs - A Formula Three racing car simulation
* Rocket Raid - A Scramble clone
* Snapper - A Pac-Man clone
* Sphinx Adventure - A text adventure
* Starship Command - A 2d space battle game
* Super Invaders - A Space Invaders clone
* Volcano - A game in which you rescue people from the other side of an active volcano with a helicopter

Acornsoft Games range

Including all arcade, text adventure and board games. All games were compatible with the BBC Micro Model B. Games followed by "Model A & B" were compatible with both machines. Games followed by "Electron" were also released separately for the Acorn Electron. Games are listed by their catalogue numbers which are roughly the order of release of the BBC versions.

There are also a number of completed but unreleased games that have found their way into the public domain such as "Crazy Balloon", "Hellforce" and "Bandit" that date from around 1983.

Acornsoft Education range

Acornsoft produced a wide range of educational titles aimed at many different age groups.

*E01 Algebraic Manipulation ("BBC" 198?)
*E02 Peeko-Computer ("BBC" 198?, "Electron" 1984)
*E03 Business Games ("BBC" 198?, "Electron" 1984) 2 games: "Stokmark" and "Telemark"
*E04 Tree of Knowledge ("BBC" 198?, "Electron" 1983)
*E05 Word Hunt ("BBC" 198?, "Electron" 1984)
*E06 Word Sequencing ("BBC" 198?, "Electron" 1984)
*E07 Sentence Sequencing ("BBC" 198?, "Electron" 1984)
*E08 Number Balance ("BBC" 198?, "Electron" 1984)
*E09 Missing Signs ("BBC" 198?, "Electron" 1984)
*E12 Chemical Analysis ("BBC" 198?)
*E13 Chemical Simulations ("BBC" 198?)
*E14 Chemical Structures ("BBC" 198?)
*E15 Jars ("BBC" 198?)
*E18 Spooky Manor ("BBC" 198?)
*E22 Talkback ("BBC" 198?, "Electron" 1984)
*E23 Workshop ("BBC" 198?, "Electron" 1984)

Acornsoft also published and distributed a range of educational software developed by ASK (Applied Systems Knowledge) that were widely used in schools running BBC Micros. These included "Podd" (find out which actions a red blobby character can perform eg jump, smile, dance), "Squeeze" (a two player strategy game of squeezing shapes onto a board) and "Cranky" (solve maths problems to repair a living calculator). These titles were part of the official Acornsoft catalogue (eg "Podd" was E26) and ran on both the BBC Micro Model B and Acorn Electron. Acornsoft also distributed other ranges of educational programs devoped by companies such as ICL, Good Housekeeping and Bourne but they are not considered part of the official catalogue.

The "Ivan Berg Software" range was also mainly educational but had its own distinct code (XBX?? - all other Acornsoft titles began with S eg the Education range on BBC Micro cassettes would be SBE??). This included the 6 "Grandmaster Quiz"zes (Theatre, Crime & Detection, Music, History, Science Fiction and Royal), relationship aids "..I Do" Your Guide to a Happy Marriage" and "The Dating Game" and GCE/CSE revision guides.

Acornsoft Business range

Acornsoft produced a range of office software for home and business use.

*B01 Desk Diary ("BBC" 198?, "Electron" 1984)
*B02 Forecast ("BBC" 198?)
*B03 VIEW ("BBC" 198?, "Electron" ROM cartridge 1984)
*B04 VIEW Printer Drivers ("BBC" 198?)
*B05 Personal Money Management ("BBC" 198?, "Electron" 1983)
*B06 Database ("BBC" 1983, "Electron" 1984)
*B07 ViewSheet ("BBC" 1984, "Electron" ROM cartridge 1984)

The series continues but mainly with add-on products for the "VIEW" word processor such as "ViewIndex" (an automatic index generator) and "ViewSpell" (spell-checker) as well as newer versions.

Acornsoft Languages range

Acorn systems came with a version of the BBC BASIC programming language as standard but Acornsoft also produced a wide range of other languages that could be loaded in by cassette or disc or in some cases, supplied in ROM form.

*L01 FORTH ("BBC" 1982, "Electron" 1983)
*L02 LISP ("BBC" 1982, "Electron" 1983)
*L03 BCPL ("BBC" 198?)
*L04 Microtext ("BBC" 1983)
*L05 6502 Development System ("BBC" 1985)
*L06 Logo ("BBC" 1983, "Electron" ROM cartridge 1986)
*L07 Turtle Graphics ("BBC" 1983, "Electron" 1984)
*L08 S-Pascal ("BBC" 1983, "Electron" 1984)
*L09 LISP Demonstrations ("BBC" 1984)
*L10 BCPL Calculations Package ("BBC" 198?)
*L12 BCPL Stand Alone Generator ("BBC" 198?)
*L13 FORTH - ROM version ("BBC" 198?)
*L14 LISP - ROM version ("BBC" 198?, "Electron" ROM cartridge 1986)
*L?? BASIC Editor ("BBC" 1985)
*L17 PROLOG Micro ("BBC" 1985)
*L18 ISO-Pascal ("BBC" 198?, "Electron" ROM cartridge 1986)
*L19 COMAL ("BBC" 198?)

Acornsoft Graphics range and more

The graphics range was used to demonstrate the graphical power of the Acorn computers but only 3 titles were made available. The X?? code was then used for other types of software.

*X01 Creative Graphics ("BBC" 198?, "Electron" 1983)
*X02 Graphs & Charts ("BBC" 198?, "Electron" 1983)
*X03 Picture Maker ("BBC" 1983, "Electron" 1984)
*X04 Shirley Conran's Magic Garden ("BBC" 198?)
*X05 Collector's Catalogue ("BBC" 198?)
*X10 Complete Cocktail Maker ("BBC" 198?, "Electron" 1984)
*X11 Paul Daniels' Magic Show ("BBC" 198?, "Electron" 1984)
*X17 Watch Your Weight ("BBC" 198?, "Electron" 1984)
*X18 Me & My Micro ("BBC" 198?, "Electron" 1984)

The range took on various themes including the "Linkword" foreign language titles.

External links

* [ Acornsoft information and list of games] – At The BBC Games Archive
* [ "Acornsoft"] profile on MobyGames

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