The Dreadnaught Factor


Release 1983

Produced by Cheshire Engineering for Activision

Design/Program: Tom Loughry


It's the most terrifying space siege ever to rock the universe! The dreadnaught's approach is awesome to the eye - 10,000 times the weight of your tiny hyperfighter, 100 times its size. Your mission is to stop it before it enters your stargate and destroys the planet Terra. And, if you succeed, 100 other dreadnaughts loom on the horizon. Strategy now. Courage forever with the Dreadnaught Factor.


The Dreadnaught Factor was an original Intellivision game programmed at Cheshire Engineering under contract to Activision.

Activision later released a version of The Dreadnaught Factor for Atari 5200.

PLAYING TIPS: From designer Tom Loughry in the Dreadnaught Factor instruction manual:

"I have found that there are several strategies you can use to destroy the Zorban Dreadnaughts. In fact, your attack plans should vary depending on the class of the approaching dreadnaught and the stage of battle. Here are some tips to help you through any phase of the game.

"First of all, no matter what the circumstances, never attack a dreadnaught head-on. Their fire rate is too overwhelming at any game level. I strongly suggest either continually zigzagging back and forth over the dreadnaught during your attack passes, or dipping in from above or below the dreadnaught. Fire your weapons and accelerate away from its direct line of fire.

"Also, it is critical to keep track of the dreadnaught's distance from the stargate. If it's closer than 50 parsecs, then try to bomb as many engines as possible to slow it down, and if it's closer than 30 parsecs, then immediately destroy its silos. That way, Terra is safe even if the dreadnaught reaches the stargate - unless you lose all your hyperfighters.

"Find out which dreadnaught weapons give you the most difficulty and eliminate them first. But, remember, the only way to ultimately defeat a dreadnaught is to bomb all of its energy vents. Don't waste timeor attack passes trying to destroy every target.

"One final tip: your laser bolts destroy dreadnaught artillery that is blue or yellow, and your strontium bombs destroy the artillery that is black or red."

FUN FACT: The Dreadnaught Factor was a favorite game of Bill Fisher's over at rival Mattel Electronics. He was so good at the game that he started getting bored playing through the early easier levels. To solve the problem, he hacked the game code to create a harder version of the cartridge. That version, variously called The Dreadful Factor and The Dreadnaught Fracture became popular with a number of the other Mattel programmers.

FUN FACT: Players who sent a photo to Activision showing they had destroyed the entire dreadnaught fleet on level 4 or above received an "Activision Dreadnaught Destroyer" emblem.