We all know that feeling when you expect one thing and end up getting something totally different. Peeping Tom is one of those experiences. I was going to do a more complete article on Micro Lab and its entertainment division Micro Fun but thought I quickly would touch base on Peeping Tom, a game I’ve never played and before this article didn’t know anything about other than it was written by Mike Livesay and published in 1982 for the Apple II by Micro Lab. I’ve been wanting to try it out for quite some time, the name and the cover surely got my attention.
Mike Livesay had gotten an Apple II during his freshman year of college, primarily to do homework on but he quickly became more interested in writing code and playing games. He soon discovered that hacking the newest games was a lot more fun and challenging than actually playing them. In 1981 he got in touch with Illinois-based Micro Lab after he had been developing copy protection schemes for various companies.
While working for Micro Lab doing copy protection Livesay, on the side, created his first game, Roach Hotel which he demoed to Micro Lab and was able to land a two-year game development contract.
Roach Hotel was released for the Apple II in 1981. The game wasn’t a success and Livesay went on to write his second game, Peeping Tom, a typical fast-paced space shooter with a twist. Micro Lab released the title for the Apple II in 1982.
Mike Livesay’s second game, Peeping Tom, published for the Apple II by Micro Lab in 1982.
I love the cover artwork, it really piques your interest
While being a simple space shooter, Peeping Tom did have something unique. Each level starts with 3 of 4 windows screened off. Behind the screens, enemy spaceships move about and shoot at you. If you shoot a spaceship behind a screen, the screen disappears making it easier to locate and shoot enemy ships and avoid incoming fire. When all enemy spaceships are destroyed you progress to the next level. You have 10 ships and when all are lost (and they will be in no time), it’s game over.
Peeping Tom, while an interesting concept, is lacking ingredients that makes up a good and challenging gameplay
Peeping Tom, as with Livesay’s next title Ming’s Challenge wasn’t commercially successful. It wasn’t until later in 1982 when he ported Bill Hogue’s Miner 2049er from the Atari 8-bit to the Apple II and Colecovision, things started to take off. But I’ll cover that, along with some of the earlier titles, and much more in a future article dedicated to Micro Lab/Micro Fun.
After Livesay’s first three not very successful titles, he ported Bill Hogue’s Miner 2049er from the Atari to the Apple II and Colecovision and went on to write The heist in 1983. In 1984 he creates the unofficial sequel to Miner 2049’er through his own company Livesay Computer Games, Inc.