I used to play… Space Rogue

Retro Games

Retro Games


Name Space Rogue
Developer Origin Systems
Publisher Origin Systems
Platforms Apple II, Commodore 64, PC, Macintosh, Amiga, Atari ST and FM Towns
Release Date 1989
Genre RPG, Space Combat
Game Cover

Game Cover

UPDATE: Managed to track down one of the developers behind the game, read my Q&A with Paul Neurath.

2nd UPDATE: If you liked the game “Space Rogue”, a site called GOG.com has a page where you can vote for them to acquire the game and update it to play on modern comptuers.  So go and vote!




Your character is the son of a famous Jeweller who, instead of following in his fathers footsteps, decides to go into space as a crewman on a merchant vessel. The ship was called the “Princess Blue” and you serve with the crew for a year before they encounter a derelict craft. The captain decides to salvage it and entails you with the task of retrieving the spacecraft. As you make it to the derelict aliens, known as the “Manchi”, attack the Princess Blue and destroy it, killing the crew. When the aliens leave, you are the sole survivor.

Vowing to avenge your crew-mates, you repair the derelict and start on your quest. There is a nearby space station where you’ll need to upgrade the ship and finds ways of making money. Maybe someone there will have information on the aliens who attacked you. Life must go on and you decide what paths it will take!


Space Rogue is a Space / Sci-Fi based game with a mix of 3D for space gameplay and 2D for those “off ship” moments in space stations and moon bases.

The universe is built around 12 systems (I think) which are connected to each other by worm holes.  Each system has its own set of planets, suns, stations and other space type malarkey.  Space combat, docking and travel through worm holes all involve using the 3D view which is very basic but does a great job and was awesome at the time.

Steering your ship can take a while to get used to.  There are two types of movement:

  1. Cruise mode.  This feels more like normal flight simulators where as you turn, you’ll move more in the direction that you’re facing.
  2. Newtonian mode.  This is based more on real space movements where you accelerate in one direction and then you’re free to rotate your ship around, but you’ll still be heading in the same direction until you apply acceleration in another direction.  It’s easier to try it yourself than for me to explain 😉

Obviously you’ll want to get out and stretch your legs every once in a while.  For this there is a 2D top down view where you can navigate your character around a space station or wherever you’ve landed.  You will meet other characters to interactive with, discover items, upgrade your ship at the local shop, accept a mission or two, trade with a merchant  and much more.  There will always be a locked door or two with different ways of being opened so it’s worth scouting around.

There are several ways to make a living:

  • Privateer
  • Merchant
  • Bounty Hunter
  • Alien Hunter

Each of which will affect your reputation with the various factions (Imperial, Pirates and Merchants).  If you become a bounty hunter, don’t expect the pirates to be particularly impressed with you!

My experiences

I played the Atari ST version of this game and loved every minute of it.  I remember the worm hole navigation being very tricky sometimes, especially when I was trying to get to remote systems before beefing up my ship.  The dialogue always made sense and the missions were entertaining.

I found combat was reasonably simple if you wanted it to be, with just getting close enough to repeatedly laser ships to death being good enough for me.

One of my more frustrating memories of the game was navigating the worm holes.  The more remote systems had harder to navigate ones and if you hadn’t upgraded your ship enough to cope with the corrosive effect, you had to get through them fast!

This has to be one of my favourite games and I can’t even begin to imagine how much time I dedicated to this game when it was in its prime. 🙂



3 thoughts on “I used to play… Space Rogue

  1. Pingback: Retro game interview: Paul Neurath (Space Rogue) « Mister Dai

  2. Damien Lavizzo

    This game was absolutely awesome. I remember devoting HOURS to this game when I was a kid. Doom came out and I didn’t even notice, cos I was playing this. Great game, thanks for the memories.


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