Sopwith lives on!
When someone mentions “Classic PC Gaming” most people will think back to the days of Doom, Castle Wolfenstein and Space Invaders with few remembering such classics as Zork and Alley Cat. It seems that unless a game has had a recently released follow-up boasting a fully 3D environment powered by such physics engines as Havoc, it would be unheard of by the current generations and long forgotten by the older generation of gamers. One such forgotten classic would have to be David L. Clark’s 1984 side scrolling “shoot ‘em up” named Sopwith.
This side scrolling shooter, appropriately named after the Sopwith biplane featured in the game, boasts a four-colour CGA graphics engine with 1.0 in-game sound provided by the all powerful PC speaker. Yes yes, even though I try to make Sopwith out to be amazing it simply does not compare to anything available these days, but keep in mind that the computing power available back in the 1980’s and early 1990’s is pretty much equivalent to that you would find in a snazzy modern pocket calculator.
What makes Sopwith note worthy is that, although a vintage game, it has never really made its way to the abandonware pile. This is thanks to hardcore fans like Josh Horowitz and Aden Forshaw over at Sopwith dot org, who have taken the released source code and rewrote the original Sopwith to include a WIN32 version compatible with Windows Vista, thus bringing this classic forward into the twenty-first century. The concept of Sopwith lives on in modern games such as the 1996 released Triplane Turmoil and 2006 released Triplane Turmoil II, both by Finnish game development company Draconus Entertainment Ltd
Web-venture Links of Interest:
Triplane Turmoil II: http://www.draconus.com/games/triplane2/index.htm
DOS Games Archive: http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/