Famicom World

Reviewed by:

"Galaxian is Space Invaders with a few twists. Kill enough enemy aliens and you'll have done your job as a citizen of the Galaxy."


Intro (Storyline) 2.5

Originally released in arcades way back in 1979, Galaxian was the first ever color arcade game. Pretty impressive at the time, the game was re-released for the Famicom just five years later. Not much different than Space Invaders, the classic single screen shooter, Galaxian offers alien-attacking fun coupled with seemingly endless gameplay.

The storyline is simple, as stated on the start screen: "MISSION: DESTROY ALIENS. WE ARE THE GALAXIANS." In a little white spaceship shaped like a flying insect, you, the Galaxian, battle with an array of colorful aliens that use different tactics to try to blow you to bits.

Graphics 3.0

If you like the simplicity of arcade-style graphics, then you'll also like Galaxian's. The spaceship you use to battle the aliens actually is quite detailed for such a small thing. It's colored red, white and light blue. The aliens all have the same structure, with a body and four legs flailing off of it. The laser shot that emerges from the tip of your ship is short, white and quick. The best of the graphics is the black background with colorful stars twinkling and sailing by, to create the illusion that you're flying, albeit slowly. Also fun is the colorful explosion that occurs when you get hit and die.

Audio 2.5

Galaxian doesn't have many sounds. When you start the first level, you are introduced to a quick intro of music that then ends with silence as the game begins. There's a nice futuristic sound that plays when you pause the game. Every shot you take creates a poof noise, and when you destroy an alien, a strange gooey or wet sound is made, almost like a drop of water from a faucet. If your white spaceship gets destroyed, you'll be treated to the sound of destruction. The only other sound is that of the aliens flying at you!

Gameplay 5.0

The gameplay is as simple as you'd expect from a game that was originally in '70s arcades. You use the white ships infinite fire power to take out the alien enemies. The aliens all appear on the screen at the same time, lining up in rows and columns. Then, one at a time, you pick them off. Every few seconds one of the aliens will get out of the ranks to try to shoot the white ship and pull a WWII Japanese kamikaze on your ass. If you fail to kill that alien during its descent toward your white ship, it will disappear through the bottom of the screen only to reappear from the top of the screen, either to rejoin the ranks or fly at you again. Once you've killed all the aliens, you'll be taking to the next level, which is exactly the same as the previous one (which is one of the downsides of the game). But the gameplay is really addicting, and what keeps you playing is that every time you beat a level you get a flag (up to level 5) and then a counter in the top corner that keeps track of how many levels you've completed. The challenge becomes: How many levels can you beat, and can you best yourself?

There a three different types of aliens to look out for: green, pink and red. The green are essentially the low rank, like the pawns in chess, just used for the sheer number of them, not because of some specialized "skill." The pink are the most ferocious of the aliens, because they have the ability to better track your position and kamikaze into you. They also fire more laser shots than the green aliens. The red aliens aren't a problem at all. They're really just the guards of the aliens' yellow mother ships. Typically, there are two mother ships per level; the red aliens and the yellow mother ships fly in sync in an effort to both shoot your white ship and kamikaze into it. You are, of course, given points for every alien or ship you kill, with the points increasing as the rank of the alien or mother ship increases.

Controls 3.0

There's not a heck of a lot to say about the controls. Your white ship moves from side to side, at about the same rate as the aliens. Press A or B and you fire a shot. Start pauses and unpauses.

Frustrations 2.5

There's only one thing about the game that's frustrating (aside from the repetitive gameplay). Your white spaceship can fire only one laser shot at a time. That means that when one of your white laser shots is sailing across the screen, you can't fire another until it's disappeared into the top of the screen. The best way to be able to fire a bunch of shots quickly is to keep hitting aliens. Once your laser shot hits an enemy, you can immediately fire another shot. But one miss and your laser shot will sail slowly to the top of the screen while aliens are still encroaching on your safety zone. The upside of this is that it keeps you from mashing the buttons to kill the aliens; you actually have to be strategic about your shots.

Fun Factor 4.0

Like I said, this game is addicting. Even though it's massively repetitive, it's remains very difficult because the patterns of the aliens aren't easily memorized. Yes, all green aliens move the same and all pink ones, too, but you can't easily predict when one will try to attack. I'd be shocked to see anyone find the end of the game. I don't even know if the game does have an end, but the level counter probably can't count passed 99.

Overall 3.0

The game is much better than you might think for '70s arcade-style. Who doesn't love a classic like Space Invaders? Well, Galaxian is Space Invaders with a few twists. Kill enough enemy aliens and you'll have done your job as a citizen of the Galaxy.





Platform Famicom
ID NGX-4500, 01 
Developer Namco 
Publisher Namco 
Players 1 or 2 players 
Genre Shooter 
Release Date 09/07/1984 
Retail Price ¥4500
Current Value ¥200 / $3
Saving Option none 

Disk-kun Ratings

Storyline [][][ 2.5 / 5.0
Graphics [][][] 3.0 / 5.0
Audio [][][ 2.5 / 5.0
Gameplay [][][][][] 5.0 / 5.0
Controls [][][] 3.0 / 5.0
Frustrations [][][ 2.5 / 5.0
Fun Factor [][][][] 4.0 / 5.0
Overall [][][] 3.0 / 5.0


Title screen
Title screen

The starting formation
The starting formation

Getting closer...
Getting closer...

About half way there...
About half way there...