Defender Game History
Defender is a true arcade classic. The game featured a side scrolling universe, which was very different to the majority of the other shooters of the era. In 1981 Defender was considered to be a flop at a video game trade show in Chicago. The reason being because it was considered to be too difficult. Judging by the success of the game, I don't think anybody listened.
The History of Defender
Designed by Eugene Jarvis, and released in 1980. Defender was developed and published by Williams Electronics. The game is a single or two player game of the scrolling shooter genre.
As the player you take control of a spaceship and are the last defender against the invading alien attack. The object is to protect the humanoid inhabitants and destroy the aliens. To help you defend the humanoids, there is a scanner situated at the top of the screen, which depicts the gaming environment.
The spacecraft is armed with two main weapons, which are; a cannon that emits a laser like beam, and a very powerful smart bomb, which has the capability of wiping out every enemy on screen. The only problem being that the craft is armed with only three smart bombs, so they must be used wisely.
There are numerous alien enemies to contend with, these range from; Mutants, Landers, Bombers, Pods, Swarmers and Baiters.
What made Defender so difficult was the control system. Instead of using standard joystick movements, the joystick controlled the vertical movement, but to change direction requires the player to tap the reverse button. As well as the reverse button, there were also thrust and hyperspace buttons.
Conversions and Sequels
Due to the success of the arcade version, Defender was inevitably released on numerous consoles and computer system, including;
Atari 2600 and 5200
Nintendo Game Boy
There have also been a number of sequels, these include;
Strike Force (1991)
Defender 2000 (1995)
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