Orc Attack

Last updated
Orc Attack Cover.jpg
Commodore 64 box cover
Publisher(s) Thorn EMI
Creative Sparks (UK)
Designer(s) Dean Lock [1]
Programmer(s) Atari 8-bit
Dean Lock
ZX Spectrum
Phil Snell
Commodore 64
Chris James
Platform(s) Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum
Release1983: Atari
1984: C64, Spectrum
Genre(s) Fixed shooter
Mode(s) Single-player, two-player

Orc Attack is a fixed shooter video game written by Deal Lock for the Atari 8-bit family and published in 1983. [1] There were versions from both Thorn EMI and Creative Sparks. Orc Attack is notable for its high-level of violence, though the visuals are low-resolution. [2] The game was ported to the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum.

Atari 8-bit family series of 8-bit home computers introduced in 1979

The Atari 8-bit family is a series of 8-bit home computers introduced by Atari, Inc. in 1979 and manufactured until 1992. All of the machines in the family are technically similar and differ primarily in packaging. They are based on the MOS Technology 6502 CPU running at 1.79 MHz, and were the first home computers designed with custom co-processor chips. This architecture enabled graphics and sound capabilities more advanced than most contemporary machines, and gaming on the platform was a major draw. Star Raiders is considered the platform's killer app. The systems launched with a series of plug-n-play peripherals that used the Atari SIO serial bus system, an early analog of USB.

Thorn EMI major British conglomerate 1980-1996

Thorn EMI was a major British company involved in consumer electronics, music, defence and retail. Created in October 1979 when Thorn Electrical Industries merged with EMI, it was listed on the London Stock Exchange and was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index but it demerged back to separate companies in 1996.

Commodore 64 8-bit home computer introduced in 1982

The Commodore 64, also known as the C64 or the CBM 64, is an 8-bit home computer introduced in January 1982 by Commodore International. It has been listed in the Guinness World Records as the highest-selling single computer model of all time, with independent estimates placing the number sold between 10 and 17 million units. Volume production started in early 1982, marketing in August for US$595. Preceded by the Commodore VIC-20 and Commodore PET, the C64 took its name from its 64 kilobytes(65,536 bytes) of RAM. With support for multicolor sprites and a custom chip for waveform generation, the C64 could create superior visuals and audio compared to systems without such custom hardware.



The player moves back and forth along the top of a castle wall, defending it from an orc horde by dropping rocks and pouring boiling oil. Attackers use ladders to scale the wall. Should one of them climb all the way to the ramparts, the player can kill it with a sword, but this diverts attention from the climbing orcs. An evil sorcerer also sends evil spirits against players.


Atari 8-bit magazine ANALOG Computing called Orc Attack "easily the most violent and gratuitously satisfying shoot-'em-up on the market today (although "drop-'em-down" might be a more accurate label)." [2] Arcade Express concluded, "Orc Attack combines fast-paced action with lots of strategy to produce a strong overall program"8/10. [3]

ANALOG Computing was an American computer magazine devoted to the Atari 8-bit home computer line, published from 1981 until 1989. In addition to reviews and tutorials, ANALOG published multiple programs in each issue for users to type in. The magazine had a reputation for listings of machine language games—much smoother than those written in Atari BASIC—and which were uncommon in competing magazines. Such games were accompanied by the assembly language source code.

ZX Spectrum magazine CRASH gave Orc Attack a 91% rating. [4]

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  1. 1 2 Hague, James. "The Giant List of Classic Game Programmers".Cite web requires |website= (help)
  2. 1 2 Patrick J. Kelly (1984). "Three New Games". ANALOG Computing.
  3. Katz, Arnie (July 31, 1983). "The Hotseat: Orc Attack". Arcade Express. 1 (26): 4.
  4. "Orc Attack". CRASH Magazine: The Online Edition.