Then, along comes Galaga… and sure, you could stand up for that one, too, but you also had the convenient option of sitting down to play. Among the first of the table-console video games to hit our favorite arcades back in the 80s, Galaga was like Space Invaders on steroids.
You start with a blank screen, and then, out of nowhere, all the meanies start flying in. Yes, it seemed like an easier set-up at first, but then… then, they started flying down at you! Wait a sec! We never signed up for this!
First hitting the scene in 1981, Galaga (Is it ‘GAL-ag-uh’ or ‘guh-LAG-uh’? The world may never know.) was just about as fun as it could get. Tap the fire button until your fingers get blisters, and jerk that joystick like your life depends on it!
Then there were those two bits of gameplay that really set Galaga (Heck, we’re going with ‘GAL-ag-uh’.) apart. First, there was that nifty little trick of getting caught (on purpose) in the chief meanie’s tractor beam. Sure, your ship went to that great video wasteland in the sky, BUT you could get it back with some pinpoint shooting, and then… well, then you’d have TWO ships to fight the meanies with at the same time!
And then there was the Challenge Stage (and who doesn’t love a good Challenge Stage?) The meanies would drop in using a pattern that made it (relatively) easy for you to obliterate them all at once, provided those blisters weren’t acting up. How well did you do? Well, the game is happy to tell you with that patented hit/miss ratio.
How cool was Galaga? Cool enough to be the featured video game in one of our favorite flicks, the beloved War Games.
We ♥ Galaga.