Moons of Jupiter (Vic 20)

1982 Romik
Code and design – David Byrden

As you have probably guessed by now and from my blog, I have particular fond memories of games from my childhood, none more so than on the Commodore 64, Atari 2600 and also the Vic 20. One such Vic 20 game is yet another along with Chariot Race which is firmly en-grained into my memories, the classic ‘Moons of Jupiter’.

Cover art for the game

‘Moons of Jupiter’ was the product of David Byrden, who came over from Ireland to work for Romik Software back in the early 80’s. Romik were particularly stand out compared to most companies at the time. Most companies would hire a talented artist to create an amazing fantasy inlay – which very often covered up a game which was to be very poor once you loaded it up. Romik wanted to be open about what you were buying, so proudly presented screenshots on the front cover (Although earlier covers were actual carefully handdrawn screenshots).

David Byrden was caught up in the buzz of creating games when starting up with Romik, though the flirtation with developing games in a new era was to be sadly short lived:

“My technical skill in hardware was matched by my complete lack of business acumen and so I didn’t enjoy much success from gaming. I went to work for Romik, wrote some games-to-order which were greatly inferior, then the company folded in 1985 and I returned to Ireland. In retrospect I should have honed my coding skills and sold my services to a more long-lasting company.”

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