Have you ever had fond memories in the early to late 1980's visiting an arcade and then play, Space Invaders, Asteroids or some other retro classic? Well, inspired by these kind of games, Dave (Ubik) Korn had produced a collection of 4 inspirational arcade classics, and Firebird Software(TM) had published this game.
After loading up the original tape, you're presented with a screen of four different arcade machines. Each of which represents a different game. Not only is there a nice presentation to this release, there's also Rob Hubbard's awesome digi+SID sonics, dominating the production, which are truly amazing.
On the main presentation screen (The options screen) you can chose which game you want to play, by simply moving the flashing bar over the machine of your choice. Then pressing fire takes you to another game presentation. There is a choice of four different games which are: Space Invaders, Asteroids, Snakes and Space Wars. The first two games on the screen are for one player only. There are some two player games as well, which are Snakes and Space Wars.
The first game, Space Invaders (or Invadars, as it says on the game title screen) is green all over. I remember the original Space Invaders game was originally green and white, but it was a bit of trickery, using different colour strips on the arcade machine. The C64 conversion of the original Space Invaders game differs. Each alien has been drawn using different charsets. Compared to the original arcade machine, the invaders are a whole larger and a tad chunkier than Taito's.
The gameplay is simply like the original Space Invaders. You move your ship, left and right and fire those evil aliens, which are screaming across and down the screen. Like the original Space Invaders. You can temporarily protect yourself from those screaming aliens, by using the shelters, but both yourself and the aliens can zap at both shelters, which cause damage. When you enough aliens, the entire fleet scream through the playing area, a whole lot faster. You also have flying saucers to zap as well. Overall for this game, I find this a lovely blast from the past. Very enjoyable, just like the original arcade classic than meets the eye.
Following Space Invaders (Or as Dave calls the game Invadarz), I pushed the *restore* button, and it activated the menu again, and I chose the next machine, which is Asteroids. Once again, you're presented with another familiar looking arcade-style presentation, but unlike Invadars, you're presented with a hall of fame. Playing the game is like playing the real arcade game. You controlled, a vector ship, which has to go around the play area. Your ship has to blast those asteroids to smithereens. One problem is, if you hit a big asteroid, it breaks into smaller asteroids. The smaller the asteroids become, the more awkward the game really gets. Later levels introduces more deadly enemies. This is yet another arcade classic with the real arcade feeling.
The idea of Snakes is simple. Move around the screen, and go grab those numbers. When you grab a number, the snake lengthens. Which makes the game even more interesting and challenging. Sadly this game is boring and no challenge with just one player, but when you play against a friend, you have hell of a great time. The graphics in this game are not bad, and the colour-pulsating of those snakes is really retro and cool. You even get to keep listening to Rob Hubbard's rock musical masterpiece.
The final game in the Arcade Classics series, Space Wars, has yet another retro feeling. Both players have the ability to try to blast their opponent to smithereens. There's also a yellow sprite at the centre of the screen, which causes some kind of magnetism on both ships. This is a cleverly inspired arcade game. Sadly yet again, boring if only one player is playing this, where another player is not around.
Arcade Classics is a very inspirational multi-arcade machine program for the C64. I was even more impressed to see that this collection of classics did not have to be loaded separately on tape. It is good to have a small compilation of arcade games as a single file. The only time I remembered playing this game, was on a fanzine cover disk, and Commodore Power's cover tape.
|GRAPHICS - 7/10|
|Some good graphics. Especially the main menu/options bitmap. Game graphics are inspirational too.|
|SOUND - 7/10|
|Sound effects are OK. You just can't help listening to Rob Hubbard's tune, embedded in the game. |
|PLAYABILITY - 7/10|
|Good playability. Just like the real thing, but some games can be a whole lot harder compared to the original arcade machines I played. Still, pretty addictive.|
|OVERALL - 7/10|
|A good production over all. It certainly would have been worth the sales price when Firebird released this years ago. Very inspirational to the original arcade machine. |