Release Date: 1982
Publisher: CBS Electronics
Genre: Shoot’em Up
Alternate Title: N/A
Model #: 80010
Programmer: Alex Leavens
This port of the arcade classic comes up just a bit short.
You are a Space Cadet that has received word from the Interstellar Space Force Command that they are about to be destroyed, and it’s up to you to defend the planet from the Gorfian Robot Armada. Once you protect the planet they instruct you to launch a one man suicide mission to try any destroy the entire fleet on your own. In addition to summing up the dire situation that you are in, they tell you that promotions are in order should the mission be successful. Which is a little strange given that they are being wiped from the face of the planet and you are all that is left.
The game is broken up into four distinct levels, giving you a variety of challenges to overcome. Unfortunately, due to hardware restrictions, they had to scale down each stage to make it fit on the cartridge. This turns what could have been a solid arcade port into a shell of its counterpart.
The first level is the Astro Battle, which is a simple Space Invaders clone. There are only three rows of enemies, and it’s fairly easy to take them out before they get anywhere close to the bottom of the screen. Once these foes have been vanquished it’s time to launch your counter attack against the invasion force.
The Laser Attack has you facing off against a ship with a giant laser that is flanked by four kamikaze pilots. If the laser ship is taken out before the support vessels, it will reappear a few seconds later. While the dive bombers can be annoying, with only five ships on screen it won’t take long before you move on to the Space Warp.
Now you are one step away from your destination, and must fight your way to the portal. Before that can happen there are five tie-fighters that appear one at a time and do donuts in space while taking shots at you. It’s kind of amazing that the last line of defense thinks the best attack pattern is to spin in circles. Once the drunken pilots are taken care of, it’s time for the final battle.
The Flag Ship is a heavily fortified vessel that has a lone weak point, the internal power reactor vent. All of your other shots will bounce harmlessly off the hull, but land that perfect shot and your foe explodes in a variety of colors. It’s about as exciting of a battle as it sounds.
Once you achieve this it’s back to the beginning to do it all over again, only this time the difficulty is ramped up. And by ramped up I mean they brought out their most seasoned pilots to punish you for being successful on the first run. Bullets rain down, the kamikaze pilots are in overdrive, and the tie-fighters move so quickly that it’s more luck than skill to take them out.
The ambition was certainly present here, unfortunately they just didn’t have the hardware to pull it off properly.