Cosmic AvengerThe Game: You pilot a space fighter, bombing and blasting away at enemy ground installations, ships, and missiles. Strafe away! (Universal, 1981)

See the videoMemories: Okay…it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what Universal was copying here. Cosmic Avenger is a somewhat more colorful ripoff of Williams’ 1980 hit Defender, and Universal wasn’t entirely nuts for trying to copy that game – Defender was raking in huge amounts of dough. There were also numerous elements which were strikingly similar to Vanguard. But Cosmic Avenger‘s only standout point over its inspiration, in my opinion, was the more colorful look. That said, it was an extremely colorful game, as you can see from the screen shots. The explosions, if there were a lot of them, could be rather dazzling.

Curiously, Cosmic Avenger occasionally left the cosmos and turned your spaceship into a submarine. The play mechanics weren’t really different – the background turned blue, 3 quartersthat’s all.

Coleco had an overall home game deal with Universal in the 1980s, and this brought a very good translation of Cosmic Avenger to the ColecoVision console.