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Privateer

Published by
Developed by
Released
Platforms
MobyRank MobyScore
ZX81
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ZX Spectrum
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Description

Privateer is a single player game with three distinctly different stages or missions. There are three levels of difficulty to the game. The player does not play the Privateer, instead they play the captain of a British gunboat sent to track and sink Privateers.

Stage 1:
Before the player can engage the privateers they must deal with a shore battery. The game screen consists of a light blue sky and a dark blue sea and off to the left is a cliff upon which the dastardly French have built a gun battery. This represents Jutland, a part of Denmark, which overlooks the passage between the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. The player controls a small gunboat that is randomly placed on the sea. The game asks for two numbers, an elevation, which controls the range of your shot, and the delay which is how long after firing before your shell explodes. When both numbers have been entered and the shell has fired, a graphic shows the track of the projectile. If the fuse is too short then the shell will explode in mid air. If the elevation is hopelessly wrong the shell will fall short or explode high above the French battery. If the shell is close to the battery then this alerts the guards and they will start shooting back. The game continues with both sides taking turns until one side is successful. If the player is successful then they progress to stage 2, otherwise it's back to the start of Stage 1 for another attempt.

Stage 2:
The game screen shows the players ship in red at the top of the screen and a series of privateers at the bottom of the screen moving left to right. The player must manoeuvre their ship close to the privateer and keep it close for two or three seconds. The ship's movement is controlled by the arrow keys. The objective is not to catch, nor to collide with, the privateer but to get within firing range. There are five privateers to catch and each turn is different because the wind conditions vary. Failure to catch any results in dismissal and the end of the game. Getting, and staying within range of the privateer triggers stage 3.

Stage 3:
The game screen changes and shows the privateer on the horizon. The privateer starts shooting almost immediately and scores hit after hit on the players gun boat. The player cannot return fire until their first mate, Mr Bush, reports that the guns are ready. Then the player aims their guns, using keys 1 - 9, and returns fire.

Screenshots

Privateer ZX Spectrum Stage 1 : Enter time delay on the shell
Privateer ZX Spectrum Screen 2 : That one got away
Privateer ZX Spectrum Stage 2 : If enough get away then it's game over, back to level 1.
Privateer ZX Spectrum ZX81 48K version.
This screen displays while the game is loading

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Contributed to by Rola (7321) and piltdown_man (75710)