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Deluxe Galaga

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Released: 1994

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: Amiga 1200

Publisher: Shareware

Developer: Edgar M Vigdal

Submitted by: Clarance Frank

Obviously  a Galaga clone, but according to the author, Edgar M. Vigdal (who also coded the best pac-man clone ever, Deluxe Pac-man) it’s a mixture of the Vic20 game ‘StarBattle’ along with the original arcade versions of Galaga and Galaxians. Deluxe Galaga was installed on the hard drive of my A1200, and along with the aforementioned Deluxe Pac-man, was played almost daily, more than could be said for most commercial releases, testament indeed to its quality…

Being shareware, there are several updates, and it’s plain to see that this is a real labour of love, and while the first version is a superbly crafted shooter, the final update of Deluxe Galaga is a finely tuned sportster of a game.

Everything about Deluxe Galaga reminds strongly of those early eighties shooters, the graphics have a simplicity to them, (which nevertheless have been smartened up to AGA standard), and the audio evokes strongly back to times spent in seedy arcades, with its great stereo phasing and wonderful ‘Gorf’ like speech synthesis.

There are plenty of power-ups available, bonus rounds – meteor storm, memory station, warp malfunction beast attack – along with the space-shop where coins collected throughout the game can be exchanged for various add-ons and game secrets.

So Deluxe Galaga is a well rounded, very polished piece of coding, but what will keep you coming back again and again is the fantastic gameplay. Vigdal mentions in the program ‘read-me’ that he has designed Deluxe Galaga purely with gameplay in mind, it's something that can be played for a quick ten minutes of pure gaming enjoyment, and with that in mind this game is balanced perfectly. There are 75 levels of alien attack to contend with, plenty of different alien craft designs, bosses and attack patterns, a simultaneous two player mode, and many more options available to customise your game.  When its ‘game over’ the hit/miss ratio page of the original is included, plus a saveable high score  table and ranking system that only further encourages re-play.

A well produced and structured piece of shareware, that creates a good amalgam of early eighties shooters, with Galaga of course at its heart.