Monday, September 5, 2011

Game of the week: Galaxian for arcade

With Space Invaders from Taito and Midway being such a huge hit arcade game upon its introduction in 1978, other companies soon wanted to get in on the video game action as well. One such company was Namco, and to enter the arcade universe this company launched a shooting game known as Galaxian.

At a quick glance, Galaxian would seem to be little more than a clone of Space Invaders, but it was much more than that.

For one thing, Galaxian was the very first video game to use full RGB color for all of its graphics. That's right! Color! Ooooo. Ahhhh.

Of course Galaxian had the typical approaching alien horde that the player had to blase out of the sky with his or her own attacking spaceship across the bottom of the screen. Still, there were noticeable differences from Space Invaders. For one thing, these alien attackers didn't just slowly crawl down the screen to attack. They did do some of that, but every so often several of the alien attackers would dive bomb down on the player's ship.

Galaxian was also one of the earliest arcade video games to include a musical background. And not only did this game use RGB colors, but it used them well, giving the player an eye-popping background of stars in space that actually twinkled and changed colors. Those colors were also bright to the eye, and stood out well on the screen perhaps better than any other game that came before.

Galaxian was hugely popular in the arcades, so much so that it ended up being ported to just about every home gaming console and computer console in the early-to-mid 1980s. Even today there are many home ports of Galaxian for modern gaming systems and computers.

Also, Galaxian was so popular that several sequel games were based upon it. The most popular of these games was another arcade hit, the classic Galaga, which expounded further upon the alien-shooting arcade genre.

1 comment:

  1. Great game but if you're going to write it up - get it right! The aliens didn't 'slowly crawl down the screen' at all. The stars blinked on & off but none of them 'changed colors'. The 'musical background' was not musical - it was a low pitched warble.