As a kid growing up in the 1970’s the world of video arcade gaming gripped me in a way that I’ve never forgotten. I devoured Space Invaders and everything like it.

Galactians

Galactians - screenshot

I remember where I was the first time I ever saw Pac-Man (a game that I really disliked) – on holiday in Newquay, Cornwall Summer 1981 – I also remember where I was the first time I saw Space Invaders, Scramble and Defender. But the game that really did it for me was Galaxians.
I’ve blogged on this topic before (http://rebelfive.wordpress.com/2010/11/26/how-galaxians-changed-my-life/) but it’s only now that I’ve managed to get off my behind and create what will become my homage to that great Namco game.

Whilst I piece together the various parts that will become Area51 I decided to take some time out to create what I now call Galactians. The premise is simple. You sit at the base of the screen and are faced with a few rows of bobbing alien insectalikes. Every once in a while they swoop off down the screen littering the place with bombs in an attempt to destroy you. Some have an intriguing kamikaze style approach to achieving this.
The player has his star fighter that spits out 3 or 4 shots in quick succession. The closer the diving alien bug is to you when you destroy it the greater the rewards.

There’s no fancy trigonometry or parabolics in this. It’s just not required. It’s just a case of modding the alien x co-ordinate in order to give a satisfying and graceful descent. Quite often, as with the original Galaxians, there is a very uncomfortable feeling of being cornered or trapped. This I like. Fortune favours the brave as they say but occassionally you pay the price for your bravery.

I still have a bit to do with the game but it’s pretty much there in terms of providing a quick challenge to the player – perhaps a bus rides worth or even a bathroom visit ! I don’t want to make it complicated. These 30 years old arcade gems were never complicated.

As soon as I have a complete game I’ll share the link through my mobile arcade game portal at m.spacemonsters.co.uk.

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