The Legend Of Datasoft: A True Underdog Story
Formed in the early Eighties by entrepreneur Pat Ketchum, Datasoft quickly established itself on the Atari, Apple II and Commodore 64 computers in particular.
Yet despite a selection of licensed games, culled from either popular media or arcade videogames, the company is today regarded as an underdog, a publisher that flew slightly under the radar with its excellent and diverse games.
Of those licences, the most famous is probably Bruce Lee, the Kung-Fu kicking adaptation of martial arts’ most notable exponent. A playable and entertaining platform game, the player takes on the role of the movie star, battling against an evil ninja and the big green warrior, Yamo.
What made Bruce Lee special was its two-player mode, allowing a friend to take on Bruce Lee as Yamo in a battle to the death – a game of death, in fact.
Datasoft also produced original games, and we celebrate these in particular at Seven Squared this week. O’Riley’s Mine (named after its creator, Mark Riley), is a fast and frantic twist on Boulder Dash as the player attempts to gather as many treasures as they can while avoiding the enemies – or blowing them up with dynamite!
There’s twee graphics and entertainment with Mancopter, one of the more unappreciated shoot-‘em-ups on the Commodore 64 and Alternate Reality, an impressive 3D RPG that originated on the Atari 8-bit computers.
Finally, for those with a fondness for all things Sherlock Holmes, there’s 221B Baker Street, a head-scratching detective game complete with lovely isometric graphics and some complex riddles to solve. The game is afoot!
These games are a mere snapshot of the journey that Datasoft took in the Eighties, and we are proud to celebrate them with exclusively licensed tees here at Seven Squared.
We are always listening to retro fans and adapting our designs where possible – follow @SquaredSeven to get involved and start your Tee journey today!
Who knows where the journey will take us next but it is do wonderful to share the memories and engage in such positive conversation together.
Remember, every Tee we sell contributes in part to games industry mental health charity Safe In Our World.
Thanks for being on the journey with us and please do continue to spread the word and share your memories and desires.
Together we are #KeepingTheGameAlive.
Thanks again to Graeme Mason aka Wizwords for his work on this chapter of the story. Go check him out on Twitter as well.