Spectron

SpectronThe Game: Aliens are closing in on your planetary base, and apparently you’re the only one on call to fend them off. Shields protect your ground-hugging mobile cannon, but they tend to be eroded away quickly by both incoming enemy fire and your own shots from the ground. If See the videoenemy ships infiltrate your protective bunker, you can find yourself in a very close-quarters firefight. When you eliminate a wave of alien ships, the next wave moves in to attack. (Spectravideo, 1983)

Memories: “Oh no!” you might be saying, “Not another Space Invaders clone!” But the thing is, as obvious a genre of game as that might have been on nearly every other console in existence, Spectron is one of the very few such games that was released for the Colecovision during the console’s heyday.

SpectronHomebrewers have since made up for the lack of Space Invaders-style slide-and-shoot games in the Coleco library, but at the time, Spectron wasn’t a bad substitute. And the alien-ship-in-your-bunker element was quite a new twist…well, for anyone who had never played the obscure (and non-space-oriented) Namco arcade game King & Balloon, which probably means that it was fresh to the vast majority of players.

Graphically speaking, this game was fairly elaborate as well, and the city domes pulsate with colorful lights corresponding to just how desperate your situation is. It’s a nifty case of the background not just simply being wallpaper. Add all these things together in one package, and Spectron was a nifty little game worth spending some time with.