Sega's 1982 Tac/Scan

A vertical shooter, in it's purest form. Just you, a fire button, and lots of enemy ships to blow up.

In Tac/Scan, you've got not one, but up to seven ships in your attack group at once. For the first couple of levels, that may seem like overkill, but soon ships will start coming at you so fast, you'll be hitting the "add ship" button just about as fast as the fire button.

As your on-screen ships are destroyed, you can call up reserves. Resource management is the key to Tac/Scan. Build up as many spare ships as you can (either by capturing them as they fly by, or by earning points), and add them to your attack group when you run into trouble.

Tac/Scan has two screens per level. The first is a typical flat, edge-on view. The twist here though, is that the layout of your attack group keeps changing. Your ships may bunch up in a tight pack, or spread out halfway across the screen. Where you add in spare ships becomes as important as when you add them.

The second screen throws the whole game into perspective, with everything (including debris) flying in your face. After surviving that melee, you get a brief break from the action as you fly through a tunnel in space, only to emerge at the next level, facing even faster enemies.

Missing Ingredient

None. With a responsive spinner control, and tons of firepower, Tac/Scan is up there with the best action games of the classic era. First-rate vector graphics and great sound round out a game that deserves another look after all these years.

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


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