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Zaxxon (Atari 2600)

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MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.4
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
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Description

The Zaxxon defence system must be destroyed in this isometric-viewed shoot 'em up. The game has three stages, first taking you through Asteroid City, which is heavily protected by aircraft, guns and missiles. Many barriers are alarmed, leaving you with limited space to progress through, and fire must constantly be dodged.

Stage two is a space shoot out against hordes of enemy aircraft - those you failed to destroy in the first part of the task. Complete this and you reach the final battle with Zaxxon, the game looping with increased difficulty if you can survive the first time. There are three distinct skill levels, while controls involve using forward to dive and back to climb, in the manner of flight simulation.

Screenshots

Zaxxon Atari 2600 A wall approaching on the horizon
Zaxxon Atari 2600 Uh oh, a crash!
Zaxxon Atari 2600 A game in progress
Zaxxon Atari 2600 Flying through outer space

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

A popular game back in the 2600 hey-day MagFram (43) 2.75 Stars2.75 Stars2.75 Stars2.75 Stars2.75 Stars

The Press Says

The Video Game Critic May 04, 2003 C- 42
All Game Guide 1998 1.5 Stars1.5 Stars1.5 Stars1.5 Stars1.5 Stars 30

Forums

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Trivia

Name

The curious moniker "Zaxxon" is derived, circuitously, from "isometric axonometric projection", its early 2.5D perspective which it is credited with being the first game to use.

Commodore 64 versions

There are two different, official ports of Zaxxon for the Commodore 64. Sega/U.S. Gold released the game on cartridge and Synapse Software released it on disk and cassette. Of the two, most people tend to agree that the Synapse version is superior. While the cartridge version's graphics are somewhat more faithful to the arcade original, the gameplay and sound aren't as polished as the Synapse version.

Telematch charts

In issue 06/1983 of the German magazine Telematch, the non-existing Ti-99/4A version of Zaxxon reached number one of the Readers' Choice charts. The responsible employee was fired. More information about the Ti-99/4A version under "cancelled ports".

Cancelled ports

  • Advertisements by U.S. Gold for upcoming Amstrad CPC conversions also included Zaxxon, but no such port was released.
  • The German magazine Telematch mentioned a Ti/994A version in their Zaxxon review in issue 04/1983. According to their own accord in issue 07/1983, they saw a prototype, but it was cancelled because of license issues between Datasoft and Texas Instruments.

Development

John Garcia was actually in management at Datasoft when Zaxxon was written.

Awards

  • TeleMatch
    • Issue 04/1984 – #2 Video Game of the Year 1983 (Readers' Vote)
Information also contributed by John Romero
PCGamer77 (3028) added Zaxxon (Atari 2600) on Apr 05, 2003
Other platforms contributed by Charly2.0 (30542), PCGamer77 (3028), RKL (5614), Sciere (234435), Martin Smith (63197), Pseudo_Intellectual (43972), Servo (55896), Tomer Gabel (4416) and L. Curtis Boyle (734)