ZX Spectrum Galaxian
Surely Galaxian is one of the most well known arcade games of all time?
Atari-soft treated us to the official ZX Spectrum conversion of Namco's classic game in 1984 - and to be fair it did the arcade original justice.
Galaxian basically expanded on the formula pioneered by Space Invaders. As in Space Invaders, Galaxian featured hordes of attacking aliens that took pot shots at the players ship at the bottom of the screen.
Galaxian added a further element of gameplay by having alien ships dive bomb the player's ship (which was called the 'Galax').
Atari-soft managed to cram in the arcade game features, including the opening sequence which proudly stated that 'we are the galaxians' and displayed how many points you would get for each ship type destroyed.
The opening got you in the mood for Galaxian:
The gameplay was relatively simple. Swarm after swarm of alien ships attacked your ship which could be moved left and right at the bottom part of the wraparound screen.
Your ship could only fire sparingly by default, but rearmed instantly when an enemy was blown out of the stars. Once you defeated one swarm of invaders it was replaced by another more aggressive and challenging swarm. As you progressed the amount of 'dive bombing' aliens increased which made things more difficult for the player.
This repeated infinitely until all of your lives were lost.
A plain starfield also scrolled in the background too which looked quite nice.
Well Galaxian was considered a bit 'old hat' by 1984 - and even though this version was pretty faithful to the arcade original gamers wanted more. I suppose with games such as Manic Miner, 3D Starstrike and Night Gunner to play, the concept of Galaxian was a bit limited. At £7.99 it was also overpriced.
The test of time:
Well it's not bad to play and captures the spirit of the old arcade machine (which I can just remember). In fact, it's so retro now that it's more relevant today than it was back in the mid 1980's. If you're a fan of Space Invaders or Galaxian then give this a go.
We recommend getting hold of the real hardware - but if not then download a ZX Spectrum emulator and download Galaxian for the ZX Spectrum. Alternatively you could try and play it online.
GENRE: Arcade Game (Shoot Em Up)
RELEASE DATE: 1984
RELEASED BY: Atarisoft
DEVELOPER(S): David Aubrey Jones
PRICE: £7.99 - UK
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