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A space simulation with elements from a number of other genres mixed in. Your mission is to destroy a robot army that has taken over a planet. Gameplay includes arcade sequences, where you fly your ship around and shoot the enemy robots; strategy elements, as you attempt to navigate and locate parts to repair the defense system; and even text-adventure elements, in the form of giving commands to your ship's computer.


Tau Ceti ZX Spectrum The LAUNCH command actually starts the game. The planet surface is gradually revealed in an expanding diamond window. When this is fully displayed the radar kicks in
Tau Ceti Atari ST Loading screen
Tau Ceti Commodore 64 Title screen
Tau Ceti Atari ST Title screen

Promo Images

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Alternate Titles

  • "Tau-Ceti: The Lost Star Colony" -- Alternate spelling
  • "Tau Ceti: The Lost Star Colony" -- Thunder Mountain release title

Part of the Following Group

User Reviews

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Critic Reviews

Amtix! Amstrad CPC Apr, 1986 93 out of 100 93
Zzap! Commodore 64 Aug, 1986 93 out of 100 93
Amstrad Action Amstrad CPC Jul, 1986 91 out of 100 91
Computer Gamer Commodore 64 Aug, 1986 18 out of 20 90
The Games Machine (UK) DOS Dec, 1987 87 out of 100 87
64'er Commodore 64 Aug, 1986 13 out of 15 87
ST Action Atari ST Jun, 1988 66 out of 100 66
Happy Computer ZX Spectrum Apr, 1986 Unscored Unscored
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) DOS Sep, 1987 Unscored Unscored
Happy Computer Commodore 64 Apr, 1986 Unscored Unscored


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John Twiddy, the Commodore 64 programmer saw the potential of a sequel using techniques from Encounter to make the game better than the original Tau Ceti. The game was going to be called 'Attack on Centralis' but CRL turned it down due to an official sequel from Pete Cooke called Academy being programmed.

Spectrum packaging

The Spectrum version comes in unusually shaped and slightly unwieldy packaging, which makes complete copies in good condition quite rare. They have been known to sell for over £30 on eBay.


  • Commodore Format
    • July 1991 (Issue 10) - listed in the A to Z of Classic Games article (Great)
  • Computer Gamer
    • February 1986 (issue #17) - Included in the list Spectrum Collection (the best Spectrum ZX games since 1985 by editorial staff choice)
  • Happy Computer
    • 1986 - Runner-up as Action Game of the Year
    • Issue 04/1987 - #18 Best Game in 1986 (Readers' Vote)

Related Web Sites

  • Icemark Tau Ceti Page (Contains the full instructions plus controls. For the Spectrum version, but it should be much the same for other versions.)
Contributed to by Kabushi (200242), Martin Smith (66859) and Ye Olde Infocomme Shoppe (1691)