Galaga '88

aka: Galaga '90, Galaga '91, Galaga 2
Moby ID: 26363

Description official descriptions

Galaga '88 takes the basic gameplay of Galaga and adds higher-quality graphics, triple ship abilities, parsec progression, power-ups, asteroids, bosses and other enhancements. Periodically the player encounters Challenging Stages, which are set to music and feature "dancing" enemies. The objective is to shoot all 40 enemies before they disappear, for a bonus of at least 10,000 points. There are a total of 29 stages. The player can begin with one ship with two in reserve or start right out with a dual ship (but only one in reserve).

Some enemies now have the ability to combine into a much larger single enemy that takes multiple shots to destroy. Others explode in a brilliant shower of fireworks when destroyed, and occasionally these enemies drop a small formation of much smaller enemies that "wiggle" their way down the screen. Some enemies arrive in spherical "eggs" and emit a loud, high-pitched noise when hit. These creatures take multiple hits to destroy in flight (just one hit in formation), and their main attack pattern is to move about halfway down the screen, stop, fire multiple shots at once, and then fly straight down off the bottom of the screen. Another type of enemy takes at least five hits to destroy, and it grows larger with each consecutive hit, making it both a larger target and allowing it to act as a shield to other enemies.

Later in the game some enemies are equipped with armor that renders them invincible while in formation. When one of these enemies starts its dive, it will flip over and expose its vulnerable side, then flip over again and become invincible while it moves back up the screen, then flip one more time and finish its dive. While vulnerable, this enemy can be destroyed in one hit, scoring bonus points. In addition, many different kinds of obstacles appear throughout the game, including blue crystals, boulders and green blobs.


  • ギャラガ'88 - Japanese spelling
  • ギャラガ'91 - Japanese Game Gear spelling

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Credits (Arcade version)

Product Manager



Average score: 79% (based on 15 ratings)


Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 28 ratings with 1 reviews)

A classic, for sure.

The Good
I remember playing Galaga during the late 90s on some sort of arcade machine I had, and while I wasn't too impressed with it as a kid (hey, I had Duke Nukem 3D and Spyro 1 in the same room), now that I've played it again I gotta admit it is one hell of a good time.

Galaga can be best described as a more complex and overall more fun version of Space Invaders. Most of the time you're fighting an army of aliens on the top of the screen while you're at the bottom. The difference is that unlike Space Invaders there is much more interaction with the enemies, as they might separate themselves from the main group to attack you on their own, split into various mini-aliens, or even combine with others to form even larger aliens! Some of these battles become really intense but they aren't overwhelming (usually) so if you're good at this type of game you shouldn't have too many problems with it.

There are various powerups too that dramatically increase your fire power (and also allow you to take more hits), and various orbs that if collected allow you to progress through levels faster.

The best thing about Galaga '90 is that despite being a pure arcade game it has much more variety than most of the similar titles. Each level until the very end is different and features different types of enemy formations, enemy types, graphics and obstacles. There are even some vertical scrolling levels that play more like regular shmups and even a few bosses thrown in for good measure. There really is no filler material to be found here, and there's even a bonus game in which the enemies don't attack you but instead do crazy spins while dancing to music, making them even harder to hit, but it's pretty amusing.

The Bad
The game's biggest problem lies in the sound department. I understand that it was 1988 but the ship cannon's sound is irritating, and some other sounds are as well (especially the "music" that plays during an encounter with a large swarm.). The game also had very few music tracks to begin with. But well, I managed to get used to this, and it doesn't really influence the gameplay in any way so it's tolerable.

Also I was only able to get the ship powerup later on in the game but I think that was my fault.

The Bottom Line
A breath of pure arcade gaming is essential every once in a while, and Galaga '90 is a good pick for that. It's not the ultimate video game but it is a lot of fun, and that's all that counts. A definite must buy for shooter fans, but anyone should pretty much give this game a try.

TurboGrafx-16 · by CKeen The Great (160) · 2012


1001 Video Games

The Arcade version of Galaga '88 appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Eric Smith.

PS Vita, PlayStation 3, PSP added by Charly2.0. Game Gear added by Riemann80. Arcade added by Michael Cassidy. Wii added by gamewarrior. Sharp X68000 added by Terok Nor.

Additional contributors: Sciere, Riemann80, Rik Hideto, yenruoj_tsegnol_eht (!!ihsoy), FatherJack.

Game added April 11th, 2007. Last modified September 30th, 2023.