DECEMBER 2006 / JANUARY 2007 – NO. 11

The Fate of the Universe Lies In Your Joystick

by R. Cade

Nonfiction.


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Asteroids
In this classic videogame, you must prevent the enormous boulders, remnants of an exploded planet, from dropping on your unsuspecting world. You and the other space jockeys of the Cosmic Space Patrol must vaporize the asteroids completely while avoiding curious UFOs.

Out of this World
As the pilot of a planetary excursion module attempting to land on another world, you should remember to be careful not to confuse the 1/6 gravity tug of the Moon with the 1/2 pull of Mars, because crashing will cost you ten megajoules.

Laser Blast
Using the same joystick skills you've developed for Fishing Derby and Stampede, wipe out a world of hostile denizens before they put the peace of the solar system in jeopardy.

Showdown in 2100 A.D.
Put your life on the line in the duel of a future century. Hint:  if you stand lower on the screen than your opponents, it's much easier to shoot them in the legs.

Missile Command
Thwart a missile attack from the conquest-hungry aliens of Krytol or face the ruin of the planet Zardon, whose peace-loving citizens just happened to have equipped their beautiful cities with antiballistic missiles. Somewhere, a Zardonian city planner is receiving a key for that one.

Cosmic Conflict
You, "a legendary hero of the Earth Federation," must use your laser starbuster to protect the federation quadrants from enemy invasion transports, battle frigates, and starfighters.

UFO
The commander of the Earth Federation's robot-controlled battle cruisers (but not a "legendary" one) must destroy a fleet of UFOs or risk … something. There is only one level of play, so just like real life this game is mostly an effort to stave off death for as long as possible while attempting to earn the highest score you can.


Details and expert advice drawn from too much personal experience and the classic gamer's guide, The Complete Guide to Conquering Video Games:  How to Win Every Game in the Galaxy, by Jeff Rovin, Collier Books 1982.


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Articles in this Issue

Introduction
The Fate of the Universe Lies In Your Joystick, by R. Cade
Our Dark Skies, by Arthur Upgren
How Sound Travels, by Frank Smith
Ebb Tide, by Frank Womble
Fourteen men, a plaque, and a mission, on Apollo 15, by David Scott
Preempted, by Jim Lovell & Jeffrey Kluger
Our Hero Has a Small Problem, by Peter Twickler
Space Politics, by Jeff Foust
The Turbulent Lens, by Alan W. Hirshfeld
The View From Above, by Karen Rudnicki