The Deadly Orbs


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From the creative genius that brought you Applesoft Action and Dogfighters of Mars comes a new game: The Deadly Orbs!

Brian Picchi created this Applesoft BASIC game as part of Retrospectiva, a programming competition similar to RetroChallenge:

Retrospectiva is rediscover the fascination and wonder the first home computers generated in us. Challenges you to put your knowledge and inspiration to the test under the constraints of obsolete computers.If you like programming, draw or write music and are interested in the retro-computer world, this competition is meant for you.

Here's some gameplay footage of The Deadly Orbs:

The Deadly Orbs demonstrates a consistent improvement in the graphics of Picchi's products, as seen by comparing it with the blockier antagonist of his former Retrospectiva entry, Surfshooter. Orbs accepts input from either the keyboard or the joystick. With either, the pace is a bit slow for me, though maybe that's for the best, as I also find the orbs' movements less predictable than Picchi does, making for a good challenge. Speaking of patterns, some randomization in the initial placement of the sword would've made the levels, at least the first few steps, less rote.

The game took 30+ hours of extracurricular programming to produce, resulting in a self-booting .DO disk image inside a ZIP archive. It's an encouraging reminder that one person can be responsible for game design, programming, and art and still produce an entertaining title.


  1. The reason you find some of the orbs unpredictable is because some of them move randomly, literally :). Even I struggle with the game, and the sluggish speed was not by design, just the result of too many conditions going on, lol. I have a new game in the works due out hopefully by this weekend or early next week which will offer double hi-res graphics, music and all the BASIC fun you'd expect from an applesoft game :)