Sunday, June 10, 2018


I've spent much of my recent time trolling through loads of disks using the nifty Floppy Image Runner and eventually came across this beauty. Quartz was released in 1988 by Firebird and is a tripped-out 8-way shooter that has us playing inside a cloud of sub-atomic particles. Each stage is a variety of short mini-stages quite similar to Asteroids but there are also incredible horizontal and vertical shooters along with some impressive 3D effects.

Gorgeous 8-way parallax scrolling and then lots of huge 3D rocky objects. Yowzers!!

Our job is to shoot the colourful hadrons, transforming them into quarks - which we blast into tiny neutrinos. Collecting these eventually offers a selection of power-ups ranging from ship repairs to a variety of awesome weapons. The end of level boss is perfect for the physicists lurking within and needs to be shot several times until it spins into oblivion. Lives are limited but you're offered the chance to continue on - if you're willing to give up a weapon - which is actually a strange idea but one that forces you to play better rather than simply whining for extra lives!

The game throws everything at you so it's not long before you're trading something to survive!

I'm gobsmacked just how brilliant this is with its frantic action, rich graphics and chirpy audio not to mention that beautiful parallax scrolling. My 8-year old daughter gave this a playtest and she found the controls daunting but soon got the hang of it. She said it's crazy but lots of fun and I think that sums up Quartz very nicely. Awesome!!

If you fancy taking the groovy spaceship for a spin then grab the floppy or hard disk game right away.


  1. This does not seem to have fared well with time. Looks a small playfield and a bit clunky graphics but it was probably great at the time. Would be a great title for a HD remake though I reckon.... with modern tunes too...

    1. Honestly, I first wondered about the screen size but it really didn't matter at all. The gameplay suits this so well imho. Play it :)