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Elite made quite a splash when it was released for the BBC Micro back in 1984.  And rightly so.  The game is a technical masterpiece.  The shear scale of the universe is something to behold.

Two years later and versions have started to appear on more popular micro’s such as the Amstrad CPC.  Disc shortages mean the fast loading version is almost impossible to find for the 6128, but that should put no one off playing from cassette – you’ll need the time to make a flask of tea while it loads anyway.

Once loaded, and in to the game, you are given a first person view out the cockpit of your personally interstellar spacecraft.  From here you are given access to a huge three dimensional universe that flies off in all directions.

How you play Elite is entirely up to you.  There are area’s for mining resources and there are computer controlled players for space combat.  However the core of the game is trading simulator.  The idea is to make money on the intergalactic stock markets.

Pick items from on station that will make a profit at another and transport them, rinse and repeat.  The problem being your ship has limited fuel and is pretty defenceless at the outset so multiple refuel stops may be needed and spending money gained on upgrades is a must.

It’s the shear scale and the open ended nature of the gameplay that sets this game apart from its contemporaries.  Elite isn’t so much a computer video game, more a career…in space.


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