• Category Archives TRS-80
  • Computer Arcana » TRS-80
  • Buzzard Bait (Color Computer)

    color-computer-magazine-issue-08-009

    Source: Color Computer Magazine – Issue Number 8 – October 1983

    Despite nearly matching the longevity of the Commodore 64, Tandy’s Color Computer line never really had the third party software support that the Commodore 64 and other 8-bit computers of the time had. The fact that Radio Shack did not really court third party development combined with the fact that the hardware was only sold at Radio Shack probably had something to do with that.

    Buzzard Bait is one example of the games you would typically find for this system. As you can see, it is a blatant rip-off (er…clone) of the arcade game Joust. It actually isn’t terrible (except for the sound which was a limitation of the CoCo series). There were lots of clones of more popular arcade games on the Coco but the quality varied wildly. Some were decent like Buzzard Bait and some were terrible.

    Buzzard Bait was released by a company called Tom Mix Software in 1983. Like much of the software for the CoCo, you could only find it easily via mail order but the company did have a BBS that you could order through so that’s pretty cool. It was available on both disk and cassette and given the fact that it wasn’t marketed through major retail establishments, original copies are probably pretty rare. I didn’t see one on eBay at a glance and that’s usually a pretty good indication. This is one you will probably need emulation to try. However, for a better conversions of Joust, you are better off checking out the official conversions for the Atari 8-bit, Atari 7800 and Atari ST.





  • Barbarossa (TRS-80 Color Computer)

    Barbarossa (TRS-80 Color Computer)

    http://darth-azrael.tumblr.com/post/167696646419/retrocgadsusa-1985-barbarossa-trs-80-color

    This ad, circa 1985, is for a game called Barbarossa for the TRS-80 Color Computer. This is a turn-based strategy game that covers the German invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II. That operation was called Operation Barbarossa, hence the name of the game.

    This game was developed and released by a company called Ark Royal Games. They were primarily known for their war games on the Color Computer, both historical and futuristic. However, they also developed a few other types of games as well including some adventure games. There have been a few other games with the same name over the years but to the best of my knowledge, other than covering the same material they are completely unrelated.

    I don’t know too much about this game so I’ll let the ad speak for itself:

    “The War in Russia 1941-44

    The first 64K wargame for the color computer. Barbarossa is total machine language so it’s fast! Completely hi-res so it’s beautiful. Scrolling map takes up more than two screens. Bit mapping allows for hi-res picto-character set consisting of panzer, grenadier, airflottes, infantry, mechanized infantry, Russian armor and infantry. Commands include Normal Movement, Blitzkreig attack, Cityscan, Intelligence, Air Operations, Scrolling, Group transfer, Advance 2nd movement, Game save.

    Player controls the German forces consisting of Army Groups North, Central and South, and must capture 16 Russian cities to win. In doing so he battles terrible weather conditions, attrition, Russian reserves and supply shortages.”

    The disk version was $33.95 and the cassette version was $30.95. The ad says that they are different but not in what way. Presumably the disk version is better.

    This ad also mentions a few other wargames including Phalanx, D-Day The 6th of June, and Anizo. These are all pretty obscure games so if you want to give them a try you’ll have to track down the originals or some disk images and an appropriate emulator.





  • Air Traffic Control Simulator (TRS-80 Color Computer)

    Air Traffic Control Simulator (TRS-80 Color Computer)

    http://darth-azrael.tumblr.com/post/167011940041/retrocgadsusa-1985

    http://www.megalextoria.com/wordpress/index.php/2017/11/20/air-traffic-control-simulator-trs-80-color-computer/

    I don’t really know much about this game but this is a good example of how ads would appear in magazines from smaller software developers in the early to mid 1980s. Above are three ads for the same game, Air Traffic Controller, all from 1985, from a company called Betasoft Systems. Whenever you ordered something from one of these ads you were really taking it on faith that it would be as good as described or even function as described. Just being in machine language (as opposed BASIC usually) is considered a feature.

    A quick search of the net doesn’t reveal much about this game though if you look hard enough, you can find a disk (or tape) image and TRS-80 Color Computer emulator and give it a try for yourself. You too can participate in the fun-filled world of air traffic control via a simulation using 1980s era technology.