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Cytron Masters is a computer game by Dan Bunten released for the Apple II in July or August 1982.[3] Developed by Ozark Softscape and released by Strategic Simulations, Cytron Masters is one of the earliest computer games that can be considered a real-time strategy game,[1][4] or a real-time tactics predecessor to the genre,[5] requiring the players to build up their forces in order to win.

Cytron Masters
Cytron Masters boxart.jpg
Developer(s)Ozark Softscape
Publisher(s)Strategic Simulations
Designer(s)Dan Bunten
Platform(s)Atari 8-bit, Apple II
  • NA: July-August 1982
Genre(s)Real-time tactics
Real-time strategy[1][2]
Mode(s)Single-player, Multiplayer


In the game each player takes the role of the commander, represented on-screen in Command Centers located on opposite sides of the screen. Scattered around the screen are eight "generators" that produce energy. The energy produced by these generators is the resource in the game, similar in function to the more tangible resources gathered in modern RTS games. Energy can then be "spent" to produce the Cytrons, robot warriors, as well as using it to move them about, fire, and other duties.

The playfield consists of a twelve by six grid of possible locations, with the command centers at the (1,3) and (12,3) locations. Five different types of Cytrons can be built and moved about the grid. Shooters fire at the closest of any enemy units with a three-space range, mines detonate when an enemy approaches, bunkers absorb damage, and missiles fly up and over the battlefield to detonate at a selected location. The fifth unit, the Commander, relays commands from the Command Centers out to the units in the field.

Gameplay is somewhat chess-like, a battle for position. Bunkers and mines become important along the front lines, protecting friendly units from attack while they are developed forward.


In a 1992 survey of science fiction games, Computer Gaming World gave the title two of five stars.[6]


  1. ^ a b Barton, Matt. "The History of Computer Role-Playing Games Part 2: The Golden Age (1985-1993)". Gamasutra. Retrieved October 16, 2017. SSI's most famous non-CRPG game is probably Cytron Masters (1982), one of the first (if not the first) real-time strategy games.
  2. ^ Moss, Richard (September 15, 2017). "Build, gather, brawl, repeat: The history of real-time strategy games". Ars Technica.
  3. ^ Sipe, Russell (July–August 1982), "Hobby and Industry News" (PDF), Computer Gaming World, pp. 1, 4
  4. ^ "Game Design Memoir by Dani Bunten Berry". Archived from the original on 12 March 2009. Retrieved 13 July 2008.
  5. ^ Scott Sharkey. "Hail to the Duke". Archived from the original on 2004-09-13. Retrieved 2011-03-01.
  6. ^ Brooks, M. Evan (November 1992). "Strategy & Wargames: The Future (2000-....)". Computer Gaming World. p. 99. Retrieved 4 July 2014.