The 16-bit home microcomputer era was a bit of a golden age for public domain software and shareware — even long before the advent of the Internet made distributing such things child’s play.
A key player in this space here in Europe was Budgie UK, who became well-known for distributing good quality public domain software, typically taking the form of 16-bit takes on classic arcade games.
Today’s game is a prime example of that, providing a thoroughly serviceable and enjoyable clone of Namco’s fixed shooter classic Galaxian… with a cool demoscene-style title screen!
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Some games are utterly timeless, remaining just as fun today as they were back on their original release.
Namco’s Galaga is definitely one of those games, though it’s also a title the company has taken great pains to keep “relevant” over the years with numerous re-releases, the most recent at the time of writing being as part of the Nintendo Switch version of Namco Museum. It even showed up as one of the company’s “loading screen games” in the PS1 era, putting in an appearance during the initial load time for the original Tekken.
It’s had a number of sequels and remakes since it first showed up in 1981, but there’s an endearing purity to the original that is hard to beat, making it a true classic from gaming’s early days.
Continue reading Namco Essentials: Galaga