Thrust (video game)

Thrust (video game)

Infobox VG
title = Thrust

developer = Jeremy Smith
publisher = Superior Software, Firebird (8-bit ports)
distributor =
designer =
engine =
version =
released = 1986
genre = Arcade
modes = One player
ratings =
platforms = BBC Micro, Acorn Electron
media = Cassette tape, Floppy disk
requirements =
input = Keyboard, Joystick

"Thrust" is a computer game originally for the BBC Micro and Acorn Electron. The perspective is "2 dimensional platform-based" and the player's aim is to maneuver a spaceship by rotating and thrusting, as it flies over a landscape and along corridors. The game idea is based on arcade game Gravitar.


Programmed by Jeremy Smith (co-author of "Exile") and originally published by Superior Software, it involved piloting a ship in a side-on 2d view of a planet and cave system.


The aim is to pilot a spacecraft which must pick up a pod using a tractor beam and fly it into space. The ship and pod are subject to gravity and inertia, and being connected by a stiff rod can end up spinning around each other, out of control. Hitting the walls of the cave with either the ship or the pod results in death.

Each planet has turrets which fire bullets at the ship, which can be destroyed with a single shot, and a reactor which powers the defence system of each planet. If the reactor is shot enough the turrets will cease firing for a short amount of time. Hitting the reactor with many bullets causes it to go critical and destroy the planet in 10 seconds - the ship must escape into space before this happens, with or without the pod (more points are gained if the pod is present).

Fuel is needed to manœuvre the ship and can be collected with the tractor beam, if the ship runs out of fuel the whole game is over. A shield is also available, although when activated it uses fuel and the ship cannot shoot.

Later levels have doors that are opened by shooting a panel. After all 6 levels have been completed the levels start again, but first with gravity reversed, then with the planet and walls invisible unless the shield is used, and finally with invisible walls and reverse gravity. After the 24th level is complete a message is displayed. Two more messages are available after completing the 48th and 72nd level, and from then on the 3rd message is repeated.

The realistic physics, pixel-perfect collision detection and a fearsome difficulty level were some of the main attractions of the game.


Thrust was subsequently ported to a wide number of other home computers, including the Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Atari and Commodore 16 as well as the Vectrex and Atari 2600 consoles. The Atari 2600 version, whose code was programmed by Thomas Jentzsch, was published in 2000 by XYPE, and used the Atari CX-40 joystick; the game was re-released for the 2600 in 2002 as "Thrust+ DC Edition" (in addition to the CX-40 joystick, incorporates compatibility with the Atari Driving Controller, CBS Booster Grip, and an Atari 2600-compatible foot pedal controller) and again in 2003 as "Thrust+ Platinum" (uses the same controllers as "Thrust+ DC", but includes music code by Paul Slocum which adds a title theme based on the C64 version's title theme by Rob Hubbard).


*Gravity Force
*Zarathrusta, Commodore Amiga game, basically an updated version of Thrust.
*Rotor, Commodore Amiga game, also inspired by Thrust.
*"Sub-Terrania", Sega Megadrive/Genesis game, another updated version of Thrust.
*Fly Harder, Commodore Amiga game, inspired by Thrust, but with a modified way to get and carry the ball (or balls!).

External links

* [ Video of "Thrust" played on the BBC Micro]
* [ Thrust for the Atari 2600]
* [ Thrust for the Vectrex]
* [ Thrust Deluxe - a Thrust remake for Windows]
*moby game|id=/thrust|name="Thrust"
* [ Thrust from Firebird Software] at Byte Cellar

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