Wilson Oyama - 08/08/2021
Defender is one of my TOP favorite games on Atari 8-BIT Computers. This port is more exciting than the 2600 version, and the graphics are very good.
Amazing how well they pulled this off. Four-color playfield graphics with no help from DLIs or PM overlays.
Model 5200 version of this game is slightly better than model 800, those of you using emulators. 5200 can show a mild amount of Demo play. This Atari conversion is one of their only ones to upstage the Arcade model, so no surprise the arcade is not Atari but Williams. I love Defender but hated the stickless pushbutton controls in the arcade. Joystick is huge improvement IMO. I've more experience playing the Amiga Defender knockoff named "Data Storm". So many other ripoffs out there come up short.
Another fine home edition that made playing the arcade version obsolete! Very colorful, engaging and challenging.
This was also the game responsible for many busted space bars on the Atari 800. Since that key is used to detonate the "smart bomb," in the heat of the action many players apparently slammed on the space bar in a panic.
As a side note, until I received my very own Atari 800, I though the space bar for the system was either very delicate, or defective in some way. I only based this on the Atari 800s I used to play around with in the stores. Whenever they had the BASIC cartridge on, I would write simple programs on it, but couldn't understand why the space bar seemed to be always on the fritz. So I made it a point to be VERY delicate whenever I played games (as it was generally the "pause" key) or typed in programs on my 800. Then a few years later, Antic magazine mentioned this game and the correlation it had with the broken space bars. :)
Probably one of the best coin-op ports around (up there with Donkey Kong). Stargate was a disapointment.
Fluid movement and physics! One of my favorites.