Defender is another of those early arcade games which has been copied, ported and borrowed from for most early games systems with widely varying results. In Defender your role is to save the humans from the alien invasion force which is taking them away to do who knows what with them. You have your trusty ship armed with lasers and smart bombs which destroy everything on the screen with one push of the button, You have a finite amount of smart bombs so don’t waste them, only use them when there is no other option that will save your humans. You have a map showing where aliens are and giving you the chance to get the one which is closest to your dependant humans on the ground.

The Colecovision does an excellent job of recreating the arcade experience in your own home. The controls basic as they are with up down and left and right work as they should allowing you to control your ship to save the world. The graphics are exactly as I remember them being in the arcade, basic triangular ships, Space Invader style aliens and an outline of the supposed landscape below. The sounds are also a big part of the arcade experience and again the Coleco console has got it covered.

Playing Defender reminds you of why video gaming became so popular, it starts out fairly easy but ramps up with each level, adding more and more aliens and some extra obstacles to destroy or avoid. One thing I’d forgotten was the inertia of your ship, cleverly done so that if you reverse direction you have to wait until the screen moves back along to the rear of your ship again before you can start moving and this can catch you out as you try to avoid bullets and aliens.

Defender is a great old Arcade classic with a very good gameplay to enjoy. The Colecovision is an excellent port of this classic and well worth trying

Score 9.5/10

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