When Elon Musk was only 12, he wrote the code for a video game called “Blastar” while he was living in South Africa.
Musk’s code never made it into an official game, but in 1984 the source code for “Blastar” was published by a trade publication called PC and Office Technology.
In his new book, “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future,” Bloomberg technology reporter Ashlee Vance published a photo of the page from the magazine which featured the code.
Now, more than 30 years later, Google software engineer Tomas Lloret decided to turn that source code into a playable game after reading Vance’s book. Bloomberg Businessweek editor Josh Tyrangiel noticed the game and shared the link to it via Twitter.
The result is a simple sci-fi arcade game not unlike “Space Invaders” where you pilot a ship as you fire lasers at enemy alien spacecraft.
“Blastar” starts you off with five ships, which represent the number of lives you have in the game. The goal is to survive as long as possible shooting at the alien space freighters, which will try to eliminate you with what Musk calls “Status Beam Machines.”
While Musk was enthusiastic about “Blastar,” it’s still very much a primitive game compared to the popular arcade games like “Space Invaders,” “Asteroid,” and “Galaga,” that all employed similar gameplay mechanics. It’s a far more impressive feat, however, when you take into account how young Musk was back then.
You can play “Blastar” for yourself by clicking here.