Friends, looking at the calendar upon the wall – it is once again the 26th of the month – which means as always it is time to celebrate Atari Day. For those not in the know, the 26th of every single month is the fan chosen day to do our best to spread the word on the history and fun as well as the lasting legacy of Atari. For this month I thought I should share with you an interesting Vector graphics title from 37 years ago entitled Quantum – it’s got a combination of 1981’s Qix by Taito in it’s video game DNA but it definitely stands out all on it’s own with it’s unique gameplay.
As the way I understand it, Quantum was developed by General Computer Corp. – as part of their lawsuit settlement with Atari over their speedup kit they sold for 1980’s Missile Command, it not only increased the speed of that classic game but they sold it as Super Missile Command. GCC also designed another kit for Namco’s Pac-Man called Crazy Otto which ended up being purchased by Midway who developed it into Ms. Pac-Man. In fact GCC also developed the really awesome sequel Jr. Pac-Man and for Atari created Food Fight and beyond Quantum they also designed an unreleased Atari title called Nightmare.
Quantum is played by using the Trak-Ball, same as Centipede and Crystal Castles – except of course you are given totally free movement with your probe – leaving behind a trail of light and you have to encircle the various enemies in the games like Electrons, Pulsars, Splitters, Triphons, Photons, Positrons, and Nuclei to defeat them. Apparently if you are quick enough you can earn extra points by continuously circling the bad buys you are dispatching – I believe you can do this up to four times. In later stages your trail of light though will become smaller, making it more difficult to trap those enemies.
I’ve sadly not had the opportunity to play this game myself – in all honesty I hadn’t heard of Quantum until about seven years ago, when I stumbled on the arcade flyer for it. Obviously if the Player’s probe or ‘tail’ makes contact with an enemy, you will lose a life – the same is true if you attempt to pass across a foe’s ‘bond’ when it’s turned a red color.
Now to see the game in action for yourself, why not watch this video uploaded on YouTube by This Old Arcade!
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