When the word “shooter” is brought up among gamers, first-person shooters like Call of Duty and Halo typically come to mind, or maybe vertical scrolling “bullet hell” games like Ikaruga and Raiden IV. That’s not the case for this old-school gamer. My mind goes to such classics as Defender and Missile Command, at least initially.

Let’s take a look at some of the be er gold-en age shooters that were not released for At-ari’s first programmable console, including such favorites as Galaga and Attack of the Timelord!

(Pricing for each game is for cartridge only.)

ATARI 5200

The Dreadnaught Factor

Publisher: Ac vision. Developer: Ac vision, Ver cal Scrolling Shooter, 1 player, 1983.

Instead of pi ng players against wave a er wave of small ships, The Dreadnaught Factor is a ba le against one mammoth “dreadnaught.” Do ng the giant ship in ques on are strategic targets, such as engines, command centers, scanning towers, and exhaust ports. Shoo ng and annihilang an engine, for example, slows down the behemoth space cruiser, which must be destroyed before it reaches a space sta on. It’s sort of like the Millenium Falcon facing o against a Star Destroyer, which is always a good me.The Dreadnaught Factor, which could use auto re to prevent hand cramping, was also released for the Intellivision, but that version scrolls horizontally. At $20, the game is a li le pricey, but it’s well worth it.


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Brett Weiss (40 Posts)

A full-time freelance writer, Brett Weiss is the author of the Classic Home Video Games series, The 100 Greatest Console Video Games: 1977-1987, Encyclopedia of KISS, and various other books, including the forthcoming The SNES Omnibus: The Super Nintendo and Its Games, Vol. 1 (A–M). He’s had articles published in numerous magazines and newspapers, including the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Game Informer, Classic Gamer Magazine, Video Game Trader, Video Game Collector, Filmfax, Fangoria, and AntiqueWeek, among others.  Check him out at