Company: Atari
Model #:
Year: 1980
Game found on a former programmers disk


Talk about a mystery prototype.  Saucer turned up as a file on a disk that came from a former Atari programmer.  Nothing is known about who was working on the game, or if it was destined to be an official Atari release, but it's clear that development was stopped early on.


There really isn't much gameplay to Saucer.  The whole game plays a lot like Combat, but with spaceships instead of tanks.  From the title screen the player can pick the size of their ship (there are four different sizes to choose from), and the number of players (from one to four).  This makes Saucer one of the few Atari games to support four players, and proves that it was made for the Atari 400 or 800 systems since the two extra controller ports were dropped from the 1200XL onwards.


Once the game starts players can move around the screen and attempt to shoot each other by pressing the fire button.  Your ship's weapon fires from the bottom and appears to be some sort of giant laser beam.  Each players ship can take thirty hits before it is destroyed, and its status is displayed at the bottom of the screen.  Your ship also has a limited amount of fuel, if you run out your ship will be stranded and you will be a sitting duck for the other ships.  The game doesn't actually have an ending, so once all the other ships are destroyed you must press reset or fly around aimlessly.



It's hard to tell if Saucer is a serious attempt by Atari to develop a four player version of Combat, or just some programmer screwing around in his spare time.  In its current state Saucer is playable, but obviously a very early work in progress.  It is unknown if any further work was done on Saucer.


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