Press image of Analogue Pocket, a rectangular handheld video game device with a black screen with text “openFPGA” on it. Image: Analogue

There is a video game coming to an Analogue Pocket. Spacewar!, a game that was originally designed for thePDP-1 mini computer, will be released on the Pocket as part of Analogue's larger strategy to bring innovative video games into the modern era.

Steve Russell was one of the engineers who created the original Spacewar! Russell and his colleagues programmed a game in which two spaceships duke it out in the center of the universe. The controllers were designed to be quiet when pressed so your opponent couldn't hear when you were firing missiles.

The source code from thePDP-1 computer and Spacewar! itself are in the public domain. There were some interesting challenges to reproducing 60-year-old software.

Chris Taber, CEO of Analogue, said in an email that thePDP-1 had some unique characteristics. It was difficult to fit this in.

Alex was given the chance to play Spacewar.

Spacewar! looks a little different on the Analogue Pocket. Lines are crisp and clean with none of the ethereal glow the original green CRT provided. The AI for your opponent is nonexistent, but there’s still something really fun about accelerating toward a star and then using its gravity to whip around it and take out another ship. Decades later, you still really feel like you’re fighting some war in space.

Analogue has a larger mission to preserve and play video games of the recent past as well as the distant past. Spacewar!, which was never released commercially, is one of the games Analogue is trying to resurrect.

The purpose of openFPGA is to open up Analogue's hardware to developers. We started the program with a recreation of the Spacewar game. There is a person who said that.

There is a new software update that adds save states and other things.