Retro Resolution Retro Review
System: Sinclair ZX81
Developer: Software Farm
Rocket Man was the second of four arcade-style releases from ZX81 alchemists Software Farm; proudly exclaimed beneath the fantastic cover art was the statement “…resolution identical to the Spectrum without any additional hardware”, and for once this was no marketing hyperbole.
[ Image: The Software Farm Tribute Page ]
Employing truly staggering high-resolution visuals, Rocket Man is a seamless blend of gaming styles, incorporating platforming reminiscent of Chuckie Egg along with the disparate flying elements of both Jetpac and Joust, producing six levels of addictive and distinctive gaming all of its own.
The magnitude of the software-only high resolution graphics engine devised by author Julian Chappel is best appreciated in the following screen grab, which shows the entire graphics output Sinclair’s wonderfully retro-future styled machine could offer; there is no native bit-mapped screen mode (and indeed no graphics hardware at all – the Zilog Z80 processor is used to draw the screen in much the same manner as the Atari VCS/2600 used its MOS 6507)