• Tag Archives Electronic Arts
  • Starflight (Commodore 64)


    Starflight was one of the first truly open world video games. It is a space exploration game (including combat and trading of course) with role-playing elements. Starflight was initially developed for the PC (DOS) in 1986 but was soon ported to the Commodore 64 (1989), Amiga (1989), Atari ST (1990), and Macintosh (1990). An updated version also appeared on the Genesis several years after the original in 1991.

    You as the player play the role of a starship captain exploring the galaxy. You can engage in combat and diplomacy, mine raw materials and perform other tasks. What you do is entirely up to you. As the game progresses, a larger plot becomes apparent involving an evil race of aliens blowing up stars and killing everybody.

    As captain of your own starship, you are responsible for maintaining and updating your ship as well as hiring your own crew. You can purchase weapons, armor, shields and of course fuel. You can also buy and sell minerals which is where mining comes into play. Your crew must also be trained to increase their skill which is another thing that costs money.

    Starflight has 270 star systems with a total of 800 planets so there is lots to explore. There are also 8 distinctive alien races to deal with or perhaps blow up.

    Starflight had a sequel, Starflight 2: Trade Routes of the Cloud Nebula. In addition, Star Control and Star Control II are spiritual successors of sorts with some of the same developers. Starflight is definitely a classic worth playing. I don’t think it has been re-released so you will have to track down an original or use emulation. All of the versions are pretty similar with the Genesis version having some minor upgrade (it’s also probably the easiest to find).

    Screen shots above are from the Commodore 64 version of the game.

  • Instant Music

    Instant Music (Commodore 64, Amiga, Apple IIgs)


    Instant Music is a rather unique music making program that was initially developed for the Amiga and then ported to the Apple IIgs and Commodore 64 in 1986. Instant Music came with a variety of songs pre-loaded and allowed the operator to vary the individual tones creating new music.


    Instant Music was among one of the first programs released by Electronic Arts for the Amiga. It received very good reviews from both computer magazines and music magazines alike. Even the Commodore 64 version was very well done. It offered a number of sophisticated features for the time including:

    • creating singe, double or triple notes in multiple ways
    • cutting/pasting blocks of music
    • modifying the tempo
    • zooming in and out to edit a piece of a tune
    • editing available instruments
    • transposing pitch