Arcadia by Imagine on Sinclair ZX Spectrum

I was recently reminded of this Spectrum classic when I saw an old advert on a Facebook page Your Sinclair Rock N Roll Years  and decided to give it a try. Although I had initially remembered it being a completely different game this wasn’t a disappointing thing as Arcadia has some great gameplay to offer.

Given the command of a spaceship which fires upwards your mission should you choose to accept it is to defend the planet from alien invasion forces (pretty familiar concept so far then). In Arcadia though your ship can thrust up to halfway up the screen as well as move left and right, which is a godsend when the aliens have tactics other than left to right and drop one line movement. Indeed the first wave of aliens (which look like missiles) attack by shooting in from the left as they drop towards you, then as they exit screen left, reappear on the right at the lower level. At this point you need to thrust to get above them before they slam into you.

Several waves of multicoloured aliens have to be shot down and avoided before the level ends, and the next terrors (cute coloured butterflies are really scary in this game) descend from the top of the screen almost vertically downwards at you. Shoot and move, dodge and shoot is the only way to survive and to protect your beloved planet as the waves and attacks keep coming. Newer and harder to judge aliens come with each level making the game progress more difficult as you get further in.

Arcadia then, an easy game to start playing, difficulty increases as you go. Large graphics for the Spectrum, including the Spectrums patented colour clash. Sound effects are the standard beeps of the Spectrum with no fancy schmancy music to speak of and sound effects can grate a little on the ears as is expected. Gameplay is fun and addictive adding as it does to the basic Space Invaders or Galaxians style of gameplay.

Score 7/10

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