Mine Storm
Developer(s) John Hall (GCE)
Publishers GCE
Release Date 1982
Genre Multi-directional shooter
Flight Simulation
Mode(s) 1-2 players alternating
Media ROM file

Mine Storm is the built-in game that came with every Vectrex unit. It was also released in a 3-D version that required the use of the Vectrex 3D Imager and as a bug-free replacement cartridge called Mine Storm 2 (see Bugs section).


Gameplay is similar to the arcade game Asteroids. The player moves around the screen shooting at star-shaped mines of various sizes and have various mannerisms. All the dots on a screen can potentially turn into mines; once a mine is shot, two dots on the screen will turn into medium-sized mines, which will then turn into two small mines when shot (note: for the most part; sometimes, perhaps due to a glitch, a medium-sized Mine will just hatch one small Mine). When all dots have been turned into mines on a screen the Minelayer will come out, laying Mines in it's wake until the player destroys it.

Making contact with any mine, fireball, space dust, alien force or Minelayer will destroy the player's ship and the game will end once there are no more reserve ships left. Extra ships are earned after every four levels are cleared. The Escape function acts as Hyperspace, which moves the player's ship to a random area on the screen.


Main menu

  • Choose from one to two players--button one
  • Start game--button four


  • Move ship left and right--joystick or D-pad left and right
  • Escape--button two
  • Thrust--button three
  • Fire rockets--button four


(large, medium, small/points)

  • Floating Mine--100 135 200
  • Fireball Mine--325 360 425
  • Magnetic Mine--500 535 600
  • Magnetic-Fireball Mine--750 585 850
  • Fireball--110
  • Minelayer--1000
  • Space dust/alien forces--varies

Mine types

  • Floating Mines--regular "dumb" mines that just drift around
  • Fireball Mines--these will launch a fireball when shot, usually right at the player's ship
  • Magnetic Mines--follows the player around
  • Magnetic-Fireball Mines--combination of the behavior of Fireball and Magnetic Mines
  • Space dust--looks like dots, acts like Floating Mines (i. e. they're deadly to touch)
  • Alien forces--combination of Space dust and Magnetic-Fireball Mines


  • There are at least three versions of the game; with the infamous level 13 bug, the game could crash and end if a player is able to clear out this level. An extra printed sheet was added to the instructions of one of the U. S. versions (which is assumed to be the second version of the game) advising players to press the reset button if their Vectrex screen went blank after clearing this level. Also, a Mine Storm 2 cartridge was made available for free upon request for Vectrex owners who wrote to GCE, which was bug-free. This is one of the most rare and sought after Vectrex cartridges nowadays.
  • In addition to the above glitch, another version allows a player to make it past level 13, although the game behaves strangely, as there is a brief cinematic bit at the end of every level where the player's ship is sucked up from whatever area of the screen it is at to the middle while stars seemingly project from it (perhaps it is hitting warp to jump to the next level). If the player stays as close to the center as possible at the end of every level after 13, they will continue to advance; however, there are many times when a level skips several numbers for some reason. Also, if the player presses Escape or Thrust after they shoot the last Mine or piece of space dust, that could cause the game to end and take the player to the menu screen.


  • Mine Storm is commonly mistaken as to being spelled as "Minestorm". It is clear by looking at the instruction booklet that came with a Vectrex unit or by starting the game either on a Vectrex or an emulator that "Mine Storm" is two words when the title screen comes up.
  • Due to it being the Vectrex' built-in game, Mine Storm never had a box.
  • On what is presumed to be the second version of the U. S. release of the Vectrex/the game, it truly ends on level 89, which there are several extra dots on this screen that will never hatch into Mines. There is also something that looks like a fireball that will not turn into smaller fireballs when shot. The player is either stuck here forever if they shoot all the Mines and space dust or they sacrifice whatever remaining ships they have by running into Mines or space dust particles.
  • Presumably the third version are for the later Vectrexes that were released overseas, having a bit of code cleanup. There are no reports of the game crashing, Magnetic Mines appear on Mine Field 2, rather than Fireball Mines, and there have been posts online in regards to people making it to Mine Field 90. It is currently unknown for how much longer these games can continue past that level.
  • A modern day hack called Minestorm 3 was created, eliminating the level 13 bug. Also, the first 13 levels comprise one "stage", which the mines will start blinking on and off. The further the player gets into a game, the longer the mines will blink off, as with every 13 levels the player can make their way through, that will count as more "stages" that are completed.

This article uses material from the Minestorm Gaming Wikia article and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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