Sinistar is an arcade game released by Williams in 1982. It belongs to a class of video games called twitch games. Sinistar was developed by Sam Dicker, Jack Haeger, Noah Falstein, RJ Mical and Richard Witt. The title is also a pun on the word “sinister.”
The player pilots a lone spacecraft, and must create “Sinibombs” by shooting at drifting planetoids and catching the crystals that are thereby released. Sinibombs are needed to defeat the game boss, Sinistar, an animated spacecraft with a demonic skull face. Sinistar does not exist at the start of the game, and is continuously under construction by enemy worker ships. Though time is crucial, attempting to mine too quickly will destroy a planetoid without releasing any crystals. Enemy worker ships are also gathering crystals (often stealing them from the player) which they use to construct the Sinistar. Enemy warrior ships can directly attack the player’s ship. The player is given a head-start before the enemy ships have enough crystals to begin construction. Game ends when the player’s ships are all destroyed.
Sinistar also contains two easter eggs, one of which displays Williams Electronics and one of which displays the programmers’ names in crossword format. At the time Sinistar was made, most video game companies forbade programmers from putting their credits into the games they created, or any associated material, but programmers of some games at the time would sneak them in with easter eggs. According to R.J. Mical, Noah Falstein was worried about the trouble they might get in for sneaking an easter egg into the game and applied an unusually complex series of events to exploit the easter egg, adding that he guaranteed that no one would ever find it.