The Game: The Gorfian Empire is attacking Earth, and naturally you’re our only hope. Symmetrical waves of space invaders lead off the invasion, followed by more unpredictable laser attack waves with long-range weapons. Next, you must pick off Gorfian robots as they emerge from a space warp, and finally you take the fight directly to the Gorfian flagship, trying to get one perfect shot in at its most vulnerable point. (CBS Video Games, 1982)
Memories: It’s almost like the original, this home translation from CBS Video Games, though there’s one rather major omission. When Bally/Midway licensed out its popular original coin-op Gorf, it had to make sure that one whole stage of the pioneering multi-level game was left out – the Galaxians screen. Midway had licensed Galaxian from Namco, and assumed that the license allowed them to incorporate a somewhat watered-down clone of Galaxian into Gorf in the arcades. (In actuality, the license allowed for no such thing, but since Midway had opened doors for Namco in the American market, the atypical result was a “don’t do that again” slap on the wrist rather than a legal battle.) But if the Galaxian license didn’t cover a port as a minigame in Gorf, it certainly didn’t cover licensing Galaxian to yet another third party. As a result, CBS’ translation is one level short – something the game’s packaging amusingly attributes to “machine limitations”!
It’s also flickery as hell, which is sad – the graphics, really, aren’t bad for an arcade translation on the 2600. But they do flicker, maddeningly so, and that can make Gorf a test of your resistance to eyestrain, not just your resistance to alien invasion.