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Released: 2003

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: Vectrex

Developer: Alex Herbert

Submitted by: Mat Allen

When footage of this game was first released, there was a distinct clamour of both excitement and disbelief; some people were knocked backwards by what they saw, some people just didn’t think it was possible to write a Defender game for the Vectrex and argued it was a trick. Fortunately for all, this latter opinion was not the truth; Protector was very much real and very much soon to arrive in the slots of 100 lucky Vectrex owners.

The limited edition is a thing of beauty and one of the most sought after homebrews on any format. Fortunately for those unable to acquire it originally, it was later made available in unlimited format. Everyone who has a Vectrex should garnish their machine with this game, because even more than five years after its release, there is little technically to touch it.

Defender, I hope, requires very little explanation as to its mechanics. The Vectrex controller is ideally suited with four buttons and this just adds to the precision and control available within the game. It is also ruddy hard and will push the skills of even good Defender players. With the onboard highscore saving, you can track just how meagre those scores can be at times!

This is a shining light of how a new game on an old format should be produced and made.