Xatax is definitely one of the most addicting yet simplistic games out there. I remember watching my dad play it when I was younger, and once I got a hand on my own keyboard I would play it for hours on end.
I suppose you might remember the old helicopter game in which you had to hold the accelerator button to ascend and attempt to navigate through a long tunnel (in 2-d of course). Xatax is very similar to this but on steroids.
Instead of a helicopter and the annoyance of having to keep it in flight, you have a spacecraft and you must dodge obstacles, and have to deal with fighters coming at you from the side of the screen in a "space invaders" type of attack style.
One of the other addicting factors of this game is the attributes. You can collect weapon and armor grades, extra lives, and best of all, a nuke that wipes out all the enemies on the screen at once. It has kind of the feel of one of the old school mario games where you run along one axis until you reach the boss level and have to defeat him with all your new abilities and items.
Not only do
you have enemies and bosses, but the environment itself (which has a rather colorful and somewhat comical feel to it) attempts to bring you to your end.
Xatax seems not worth the time at first; it's a small game and the graphics will work on almost anyone's computer nowadays. They're not so bad that it's pathetic like the first wing commander (that I once loved playing but can't stand anymore because of the weird 2-d improvisation of three dimensional space) but they are perfect for its type.
If you have it and just started playing- don't give up on it too quickly.
It's simple, it's fun, and the colors are vibrant and captivating. It's definitely a classic arcade game that everyone should have in that special game folder you have with hexxagon and commander keen.
Just to make sure, Xatax is not a first person simulator like x wing or jet fighter, so if you're looking for that, you'll be sorely disappointed as the manoeuvrability of your aircraft is reduced to forward, backwards, up and down. The weapons you can get, however, far surpass any that you'll find in an actual simulator. Everything from lasers and bombs to a firestorm of missiles to destroy multiple enemies at once.
Now I haven't played this game for quite a while, but just reminiscing about it while writing this has stirred the urge to download it and immerse myself in it.
Overall, it's addicting, colorful, simple, imaginative and challenging, and definitely belongs in any arcade game collectors pile.