Galaxian is a shoot 'em up in which the player is at the bottom of the screen, with an arrangement of aliens at the top. The player moves left and right to aim at an alien, then shoots a bullet up the screen, and the alien it hits is killed. The aliens are classed as Drones, Emissaries, Hornets and Commanders, with those higher up the screen scoring more points when destroyed. At set intervals an enemy will move down the screen towards you, escorting a bomber, which is a moment of high danger. Clear a wave and another is generated.
Galaxian is a clone of the world famous Space Invaders and that pretty much explaines what the game is all about. You have to wipe out wave after wave of alien invaders to score points. The higher in the swarm the alien is , the more points you earn. The aliens make it harder on you by dropping bombs and using suicide attacks on you. They don't advance on you as they do in Space Invaders, but the constant shooting and the surprise attacks keep the tension pretty high.
From a 1983 game you can't really expect much in terms of graphics and sound. CGA and speaker-bleeps is what you're getting. The sprites are nice enough though and the bleeps are not annoying (and there's an option to turn off sound). Of course there are timing issues, so you have to turn down the number of cylces in DosBOX to a bare minimum (but keep it high enough so the games staus challenging). An alternative is to look for a 4.77 Mhz XT machine to play it on :)
You can set 6 difficulty levels ranging from pretty easy (1) to near impossible (6). At higher levels, more and more aliens break lose of the swarm and the rate at which they drop bombs goes up. You can use either keyboard or a joystick to move you craft and the game offers a hot-seat two-player mode.
All in all, it's a pretty nerve-wrecking game that really makes you relive the old days. The gameplay remains solid after all these years and if you're in for a quick game Galaxian will fulfill your need.
Galaxian is another near-flawless conversion of coin-op classic for Atari. This time the target is Namco's revolutionary vertical shooter, commonly regarded as the first truly multi-color video game ever made.
The gameplay is straightforward: anyone who has played Space Invaders will know what to expect. At regular intervals, which get shorter as you progress, the alien ships will swoop down in an attempt to zap you with their laser pellets or kamikaze attack. Killing charging aliens score more points than the ones flying in overhead formation. Flagships also score more points when they have red travel companions, depending on whether you shoot the companions first, and if you get all of them.
This PC conversion captures almost perfectly the feel of the arcade hit, minus the range of colors. As Trixter points out in his review at MobyGames, "...most of the Atarisoft conversions of then-classic arcade games were flawless, and Galaxian is no exception. The lazy arc of the enemies as they dive to fire at you is identical to the arcade. Like Galaxian? Got an old PC? You know what to do." A must-have.
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