The Game: As the pilot of a lone fighter infiltrating a spaceborne fortress, your mission is simple – survive long enough to vanquish the evil Zaxxon robot hidden deep within the fortress, and take out as much of the defenses as you can in the meantime. (Datasoft, 1983)
Memories: Probably the best of the early wave of translations of the groundbreaking arcade game, John Garcia’s Apple II edition of Zaxxon successfully boils the game down to its most vital elements: the basics of its graphical look and smooth, fast motion. In fact, doing away with some of the more elaborately detailed graphics of the arcade helps to boost the signal-to-noise ration when it comes to visual cues for navigating your ship – I found this port, while not as pretty as the arcade, easier to survive. The controls are smooth as well, making this one of the better attempts to bring Zaxxon home. Sound is minimal, but that’s the way the arcade game was, too.
There’s not much else to say about Zaxxon on the Apple – it’s a really good game without any glaring flaws that I can think of. Another one of those floppies that got a lot of action on my computer many years ago.