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Classic space sim Elite goes free this weekend

A superior remake of the original space trading game Elite will be released for free this weekend, 30 years after the original game launched.

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The release of Elite: The New Kind has the blessing of Ian Bell, original designer and programmer on Elite with Frontier's David Braben.

According to Bell, Elite: A New Kind is better than the first PC release of the game as it's based more closely on the BBC Micro and NES versions.

"Elite: The New Kind is based much more closely on the first version of game," Bell told VG247. "It incorporates elements from other versions that are considered the best, such as for the Nintendo Entertainment System and Acorn Archimedes."

"The programmer Christian Pinder has done a great job of recreating the Elite gameplay experience. I hope it'll bring back good memories to those who loved the game first time around, and help new players understand what made Elite so significant in the history of computer games."


Ian Bell's original Elite design sketch, from 1983.

While Frontier's remake of the original game, Elite: Dangerous, has successfully raised millions from fans - alpha access was charged at £200 and the current beta costs £50 - it was important for Bell to see this original game go free for all.

"20th September 1984 was the date that Elite was first seen by the world, thanks to the company that produced it, Acornsoft. Now's a time when people are thinking back on the games they most enjoyed in the past, and I'm happy to take this opportunity to let them play one of them again."

Elite: The New Kind was first released in 2002 but was withdrawn over copyright claims. It can be downloaded here from Saturday, September 20.

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