I remember the first time I played this game, with its addictive gameplay and speed. It's responsable for a life time of gaming on all different formats from the arcades to my pc.
And that was the thing with this game, a true classic. When you speak to people who play 'retro' games itís always held in high esteem, keeping company with pac-man, space invaders and other games which got an entire generation hooked.
Its gameplay is from a time when games were made to be fun.
Not relying on flashy graphics or over complicated stories. Indeed, it follows the format for that time, Aliens are attacking the earth and a hero is needed to stop them abducting your people. Easy game premise, but where this game shines is how it went about 'Defending' the planet. You take control of a small fighter ship, equipped with lasers and smart bombs and are charged with patrolling a continuous scrolling screen. The landscape represents mountains and the people happily minding their own business across this scene. The aliens attack from the top of the screen and itís up to you to destroy them, either on the way down, or as they climb back up with their human captive in tow. Whilst
youíre dispatching one group of invaders, another is making off with your people. So you need to get there quickly, and that was easy! This game was one of the fastest off its time, indeed you would zip along at such speeds that you'd be dead before you know what hit you, and worse still, if you got there you had to dispatch the alien without hitting your own man, easier said than done!
Originally released in 1980 by Williams electronics. Defender has appeared on nearly all gaming platforms from the arcade table top, to the current next generation consoles. It even had an outing on the gameboy, and a game as fast as defender shouldn't be played on a screen that small!
I'm sure that the next generation of gamers will love this game as much as me, and when they need educating about the history of computer games, this game will always be close to the top of the list.