Talk about a classic game!
Arcadia was released for the ZX Spectrum by Imagine Software in 1982 (well before the Imagine name was bought by Ocean software).
Arcadia is an early classic arcade game - and even ran on a 16K Spectrum. It was quite impressive when it was released - and was a lot more advanced than many other shoot em up's from the same year.
This computer game was very simple. You had to wipe out wave after wave of alien nasties. Each wave was a different enemy type with varying movements and characteristics. To reach the next level, you had to survive (with a single life - losing a life sent you back to the start of the current level) until the counter reached ZERO. The counter always began at 99 and counted down.
You had to take care when the counter hit 0 since any aliens left on the screen suddenly dropped straight down to the bottom. Sneaky! This dropping action could easily lose you a life, and you would have to start the level again - which was a bit of a bummer.
Your ship (The Arcadia) was highly manoeuvrable and packed dual lazer cannons which chewed through the alien menace with ease.
Your ship could move left and right and could also 'thrust' upwards, with it's upper limit being the halfway point of the screen - you could go no higher.
There were twelve attack waves in total, each wave set for the same period of time and each generally more suicidal than the last.
Once you had completed level 12 the enemies re-cycled and you battled the same wave of aliens from level 1. The game kept going until you had lost all of your lives.
The aliens were all nicely drawn and the game made full use of colour and even had decent (if slightly odd) sound effects for the year it was made.
Arcadia really was one of the first arcade games on the Spectrum, and proved that something similar to what you found down the amusement arcade could be played at home.
Arcadia was pretty well received when it was released all those years ago. It was addictive and frantic - and really paved the way for shoot em ups on the Spectrum. It ended up being quite a big seller - and for a 16K game it was pretty impressive.
The test of time:
Well the sound effects and the colour attribute clash make this game really dated. But you know, it's still strangely playable. As the last few seconds tick down things can get quite hectic. The controls are nice and responsive and you need quick reflexes to shoot your way through the levels. For a 1982 game Arcadia ain't bad at all. Worth playing again.
This is pure retro gaming - give Arcadia a go. You may be pleasantly surprised.
We recommend getting hold of the real hardware - but if not then download a ZX Spectrum emulator and download Arcadia for the ZX Spectrum. Alternatively you could try and play it online.
GENRE: Shoot em up Arcade Game
RELEASE DATE: 1982
RELEASED BY: Imagine Software
DEVELOPER(S): David H Lawson
PRICE: £5.50 - UK
Blasting through level one in Arcadia - Spectrum Games:
Classic Games and Arcade Games