The Game: Once again, you’re piloting a sleek spacecraft, patrolling the airspace over a populated planet whose inhabitants are being harvested by alien Landers to create berzerker Mutants. If you shoot down a Lander in mid-air and its abductee falls toward the ground, you must catch the helpless kidnap victim and lower him to the ground safely. Other menaces await you in the sky, along with Stargates, which instantaneously transport you to other locations around the planet. (Atari, 1984)
Memories: I like to refer to this game as Defender: The Apology. In much the same way that Atari made good on gamers’ disappointment in their original Pac-Man cartridge with its Ms. Pac-Man translation, the Stargate cartridge plays much more like “real” Defender than the original cartridge version of that game. The sounds and graphics are pretty much dead-on, if not quite as fine as those of the original arcade machine.
However, there’s one problem: much like Freedom Fighters! for the Odyssey2, Stargate requires the player to switch between both joysticks – a good trick when even the best players would lose valuable (and vulnerable) seconds doing the swap. With more controls than Defender had to contend with, I suppose it was either that or the B&W/color switch.
Stargate for the 2600 has also been found with graphics and packaging for Defender II, which was another name by which Stargate was known in the arcades.