#23 Galaga

Posted: 1st April 2015 by Jeroen in Games
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414th played so far

Galaga_flyerGenre: Shoot ‘Em Up
Platform: Arcade
Year of Release: 1981
Developer: Namco
Publisher: Namco/Midway

So it’s time for another one of our old shoot ’em ups, part of our constant catchup, as well as just going through these games in order.

We’ve covered its predecessor in the entertaining Galaxian, and from the bits we’ve seen this installment looks familiar.

Our Thoughts

I’ll be honest, it’s hard to spot the differences between Galaxian and Galaga sometimes, and it could well be that some of our experiences merged because of how similar they look and (to a lesser extent) play. And other than, I believe, the inital formation of the enemies, which now swoop in, instead of being in formation at the start. It allows for an early attack on them, although it means from the start you need to avoid enemies.

One of the changes we didn’t notice – probably because it was in other games – is that you can fire multiple shots at a time. They tended to come out clumped, removing teh advantage, but it makes the game a bit more playable and responsive. Other features, such as ships being able to be captured, are ones that we didn’t see because, well, we didn’t get far enough.

It’s a game that takes a lot from the previous games, and is so heavily imitated it’s mostly things we’ve seen in later games. It’s fun to play, and feels a bit more interesting than the previous game – and certainly a big step up from Space Invaders – but it’s difficult to see where the specific improvements are that made the game this special.

Final Thoughts

It’s probably unfair to judge the game like this, but even looking at Galaxian the step up doesn’t feel as major. The book spends a lot of time comparing the game to Space Invaders, but that ignores what came since. It’s a good game, sure, solid and fun, but the game doesn’t feel as unique as you’d expect for this list.