The Game: You’re the pilot of a lone fighter ship, screaming down the trench-like, heavily armed confines of a spaceborne fortress, on a mission to find and destroy the Zaxxon robot – the most heavily guarded of all – at the heart of the structure. (Coleco, 1982)
Memories: In 1983, Sega’s Zaxxon was the hottest new thing in the arcade, and quickly became a windmill for home video game consoles to attempt to topple. Its vaguely-3D perspective was the game’s claim to fame, and was the hardest thing for home video game programmers to try to emulate.
At the time, the ColecoVision version of Zaxxon was the best you could get – well, it was sure as hell closer than Coleco’s pitiful Atari 2600 adaptation. But despite the valiant effort, the ColecoVision edition lacked its arcade inspiration’s detailed backgrounds, and even demonstrated that the mighty ColecoVision was not immune to a problem few people would’ve imagined it shared with the Atari 2600 – sprites (animated onscreen characters) flickering because there were too many of them on the screen for the machine to keep track of smoothly.
Still, the ColecoVision version did introduce a brand new adversary which didn’t even grace the arcade game – floating, blunt-cone-shaped nasties (one of which can be seen near the center of the still shot above) which would get in the path of your fighter if you strafed the surface of the fortress too closely.