The Game: As the commander of a sleek Solvalou fighter, you’re deep into enemy territory, shooting their disc-shaped fighters out of the sky, bombing ground installations and artillery nests, bombing tanks, and trying to destroy the mothership. As you progress further behind enemy lines, heavier aircraft and more versatile and deadly ground-based defenses become the norm. Also look out for tumbling airborne mirrors – they’re impervious to your fire, but you’re toast if you fly right into them. (Atari [under license from Namco], 1982)
Memories: A very cool game indeed, Xevious was extremely challenging and quite nice to look at as well. The controls were smooth, and you really did have a full range of control over where your fighter was on the screen.
Xevious came toward the end of the Atari 2600’s heyday, so not many home versions of it were made at the time. A fairly good Atari 7800 edition of Xevious eventually appeared, but was quickly bested by the edition released for the NES. Namco has continued to re-release the game for a variety of platforms as part of the company’s retro compilations. A “sequel” conversion kit, Super Xevious, followed, before the game was spun off into a multitude of bizarre directions, including a spinoff game about the enemy tanks (Grobda) and an attempt at a 3-D version of Xevious (Solvalou); in the 1990s, a much more definitive modernized remake, Xevious 3-D/G, surfaced in the arcades and eventually on the Playstation.