Classic Retro Video Game Reviews

Atari Galaxian -Atari 2600
Retro Gaming Review

Atari 2600 VCS console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game ReviewAtari Galaxian for Atari 2600 Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Title: Galaxian
Manufacturer: Atari
Platform: Atari 2600
Release Date: 1983
Part #: CX2684
Rating: 4 out of 5
ESRB Rating: N/A

Rating: Atari Galaxian Classic Retro Video Game Review Rating
Atari Galaxian Screenshot:
Atari Galaxian for Atari 2600 screenshot Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review

Arriving in Arcades during the Christmas season of 1979 Galaxian was a hit arriving on the heels of the original bottom shooter, Space Invaders, which was originally monochrome, but hella fun. Arriving a few years before Galaga gave this game some time to rest on it's laurels as a premiere space shooter. Comparatively it's a slower game in several respects.

I was super excited to get this title for the Atari 2600 as I loved playing it in the arcades. The Galaxian arcade controls are nice and simple lending to the limited options of the 2600 joystick. The arcade version offered a 2-way joystick and a fire button - into which they packed a lot of excellent game play.

Galaxian Story Arc

After being welcomed aboard the missile laser base your training instructor, Commander Champion, tells of the dreaded Galaxians and their centuries-old war and terrorism. The idea and definition of terrorism has certainly changed since the 70's. The Commander tells us how Galaxians fight in teams with a flagship being protected by 2 escorts. H advises shooting the escorts first then going afte the flagship. Single Galaxian ships will swoop down as well.

Holy shit! Check this out...
The Galaxian arcade game was developed by Namco in 1979 and imported to the US by Midway in 1980. It uses the formula pioneered by Taito's Space Invaders and was the first
game to have all of its graphics in RGB color. The flagship makes an appearance as a bonus fruit on rounds 9 and 10 of 1980's Pac-Man and is worth 2000 points if Pac-Man eats it.

Galaxian Game Play

Galaxian is a single player game with your mission begins with 3 lives and an extra life at 7,000 points. Galaxians attack in waves - each wave being replaced once all the Galaxians are destroyed. Shooting them in flight garners double points rather than picking them off in formation. You have 9 skill levels selectable via the Game Select Switch.

The lowest ranking Drones are green, Emissaries are purple and the highest ranking Flagships are white. Destroying them in a particular order yields more points. The big points come from shooting the escorts before the flagship. During the first 2 waves you can hide out, for a few seconds, in either corner of the screen. This strategy won't work in later waves.

Galaxian Difficulty Switch Settings

The Left Difficulty Switch determines your laser firing capability. Set to the A position yields one shot with each push of the fire button. The B position gives you continuous firing.

Atari 2600 VCS console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Final Judgement:

Atari Galaxian

pales in comparison to Galaga - a personal fave - but one needs to remember the timeline of when these games were originally available. Galaxian is a great game and still cool to play for fun and nostalgia. Pop it up to one of the higher skill levels to see what a frantically wonderful game this can be.

Read about our Spaceship video game review rating system

« Return to Retro Video Game Reviews