Centuri's 1983 Aztarac
You have to defend a series of star bases (named after Zodiacal signs) from hordes of enemy ships. Each level, you must kill them off before they can collide with your base. If an attack group collides with a base - the entire group will be destroyed, but it takes out 1/4 of your base with them. If you lose all four sections of a base, the game is over. You have infinite ships to use - but each time you die, it costs you precious time.

The controls are excellent - an analog trigger-style joystick for maneuvering, and a spinner to aim your gun. You have two buttons: one for firing, and a second one that changes the display to a radar screen which shows where all of the enemies are at.

In each wave a small power-up floats around, which you can only find using the radar. Power-ups are essential, as they increase your speed or your firepower - both of which are sorely needed as the game speeds up. Completing a level with all four sections of your base intact increases your power-ups, and also gains you huge bonus points.

Missing Ingredient
Smaller graphics. Aztarac has some of the most impressive vector effects ever used in an arcade game, except they take up too much space. If the size of the graphics had been cut down to half of what they are, more objects could be seen, and the onscreen mayhem would be even more impressive. More importantly - you wouldn't need to spend half of your time looking at the radar screen to find out where the action is.

Thanks to Jeffrey Carl at ServInt for providing the space for CinemArcade


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