Retro Review “Galaga” 

By Lakyn Gardner

lagardner@lc.edu

“Galaga may look simple, but its fast and driving gameplay makes it very addicting. Capture via free80sarcade.com.”

Hello, welcome back to retro view. Today I’m going to be reviewing Galaga. Galaga is an arcade shooter made in 1981 and published by Namco. I know this is an old game; however, this holds a very dear place in my heart. When I was growing up as a kid, we had a plug and play station that had Galaga, Pacman, dig dug and many others. 

“Despite Galaga originally releasing in 1981, follow up games continued to come out through the years. Galaga: Destination Earth released in 2000, this time for the home or on the go with PlayStation and GameBoy Color releases. Destination earth featured move movement and more flair, including some 3D shooting segments, but kept the left/right/shoot mechanics. Pictured is the GameBoy Color version, captured via the mGBA emulator. Capture by Alex Johnson.”

The gist of the game is the player controls a spaceship, and you must defeat the opposing enemies by shooting projectiles.  The player only has three lives to see how far one can go, and the objective is to see who can get the highest score.  Galaga has a basic premise however, the execution is flawless. The controls are very basic with only left to right movement and a shoot button, you can’t go wrong. This game has a cool little easter egg too; if you allow one of the abductor enemies to pick you up at the end of the game, you can be transformed into a dual-fighter. A dual-fighter is two spaceships put side to side so you can shoot double the enemies.  

“Today, Galaga can be played anywhere in the form of Bandai Namco’s Galaga Wars, an Android/iOS mobile game. Like Destination Earth, Wars has an updated take on the Galaga formula, allowing players to move anywhere on the screen. Purists wanting to play on their phone may want to look into one of the many Galaga clones on the Play/App Stores. Capture by Alex Johnson.”

With no story to grade it on, I must go by game mechanics, which are flawless. This game was a blast to get to go back and replay. It was so thrilling to watch my score grow and grow each time I played. It’s a simple game to learn to play, but an extremely difficult one to master. I can see myself going back to this game when I’m bored or just want to pass some time. Overall, I give this game a 10 out of 10.

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