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Reviving the video gaming era of the 80's

SPACE ARMADA  -  Mattel Electronics  -  1981  -  SCORE 100%

Coin operated video game systems appeared in the early seventies, but it would be the take up of Space Invaders in 1978, that bought the arcade video game into the forefront of main-stream popularity.  Many variations of the game had followed into the arcade itself, and then as the home video game market developed, so did even more versions of it, appearing under different names and in many cases, slightly tweaked game play.

It would be Intellivision's Space Armada that would take the cake for being the best variation of all, and still by today's video game standards, is a very challenging game to play.

As the player cleared out each frame in space invaders, the degree of difficulty would increase, with the aliens starting at a lower sliding level.  In Space Armada, the degree of game play gets harder as each new frame introduces new forms of weaponry.  These include super bombs, Invisible aliens, twister bombs and much more.

It's a smooth cruise when you get into the first frame of aliens, on Space Armada, but look out.  By the third frame you are introduced to super bombs that explode with a wider destruction path.  You don't have to be right under them to be destroyed, but only near enough, to get blown apart. (big orange bombs).  Battle gets trickier as invisible aliens appear by the fifth frame.  As you work toward the seventh screen, you are confronted by heat seeking trailer bombs,  that seek out your rocket.  This is where you got to keep your bunkers built up, by shooting the flying saucer on the frames top.  The games most difficult part comes on screen nine, when you are fighting a complete invisible force of aliens.  This is where it pays to be organised.  Don't just shoot aliens in different spots.  Try shooting them in tidy columns, so you can keep a tally, on where some of the invisible ones are, just in case they don't appear visible by the frames end.

It's a big sigh of relief when you reach the eleventh frame.  All the aliens are visible again, but now the weaponry gets very nasty.  Heat seeking twisters flash in front of you in milliseconds, and unless you have your bunkers built up, you are faced with a ruthless battle.  Your time is running out and death is inevitable, as the aliens smash your rocket force to the ground.  You get lucky and shoot a flying saucer, and a brand new bunker saves the day.  You hit another saucer and protection becomes a reality again, but has this game run out of tricks to throw at you? No no no!  By the thirteenth screen the saucers come crashing down, on top of your bunkers and destroy them, so shoot them before they do so.

At this point the introduction of new weapons stop.  The aliens now sink at a much faster rate so keep yourself on the ball. Shooting a crashing saucer down, will mean protection in the right place, at the right time, as you are now fighting a game at it's top level.  It's peddle to the metal all the way, as aliens, bombs, saucers and twisters fly all over the place at lightening speed.  One quick slip-up and the game comes to its sudden death.

Frame 1

When shooting aliens, try killing them off in vertical columns.  This will give you more time to shoot down flying saucers, which build up your bunkers.  This is important for later frames.

Frame 4

Larger bombs start falling by the third frame, and have a much wider destruction path.  Keep well away.  (white arrow)

Frame 5

Bottom two rows of aliens start moving invisibly across the screen, but become visible throughout frame.  They all don't appear, so keep a game plan In mind.

Frame 7

From the seventh frame, heat seeking trailer bombs follow your rocket, so keep your bunkers built up.  You can shoot these trailers if they are above you, but you'll have to be quick.

Frame 9

Entire screen of aliens become invisible, having no game plan here will certainly mean sudden death.

Frame 11

Twister bombs start to appear by the eleventh frame, and attack your rocket in milliseconds.  Be sure to keep your bunkers up, and fire your rocket, whilst guarding it from the bombs.

Frame 12

After shooting all the aliens by the column, you will have some time left to move your rocket around.  Use this time to shoot any saucers that fly on top of the screen.

Frame 13

Saucers come crashing down.  Try to shoot them before they land on your bunker, as they will rapidly destroy them.

Best Score

I used to play Space Armada during the early 80's, where I would often reach the 24th and 25th frames.  Game play has become some what rusty, and over recent months my best score seems to be 42,190, whilst getting to the fourteenth frame.  Unfortunately though, the clunky controls are very hard to get used to, and the controller latency is a huge hindrance when getting into tight corners.  Especially now that I'm used to MAME. (multi arcade machine emulator) 

Many of the shots you see, have been taken from the Intellivision Lives CD, which is loaded with a mountain of great material.  This includes interviews on the games creators, notes on game programming and creation, and a number of the more successful game titles, ready to play on your PC.

     Introduction to computers and the start of computer games.
     History of Mattel Electronics and the Intellivision Video Game System.
     Games Review Page One  -  Space Armada.
     Games Review Page Two  -  Pinball.
     Games Review Page Three  -  Snafu and some game bugs.
     Pretty Patterns in Snafu.

     The all time top five games.
     Games Review Page One.
     Games Review Page Two.
     Games to avoid.
     The worlds best MAME Links.

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