aka: Arcadia 64
Moby ID: 47368
ZX Spectrum Specs
Buy on Windows
$2.99 new on Steam
See Also

Description official descriptions

Arcadia is a space shoot 'em up along the lines of Galaxians and Space Invaders. You have a ship at the bottom of the screen. Enemy ships come at you in waves scrolling across the screen from right to left. There are twelve levels. When the last level has been completed the game cycles to level one again and continues with no increase in difficulty. You get an extra life if you clear 4 waves. They keep on coming and the object is to get a high score.

Interesting key mapping on this game: the bottom row of keys moves left & right, but they are mapped alternately so Z, C, B, M and SPACE move you right while CAP SHIFT, X, V, N, and SYMBOL SHIFT move you left. The middle row of keys (A, S, D, etc) power the thrusters while the top row (Q, W, E, etc) fire the dual lasers.



Credits (ZX Spectrum version)




Average score: 91% (based on 4 ratings)


Average score: 2.8 out of 5 (based on 9 ratings with 3 reviews)

Fast and furious

The Good
The targets fly across the screen in really fast and in waves. There's no place to hide!

I liked the fact that there were five lives / ships because I needed them. It was also very useful that the ship was very agile, it moved very quickly in response to the controls

The Bad
This game was just too fast and too furious for me. I spent ages trying to complete level 1 and failed. I just could not move or fire fast enough!

Eventually I abandoned the game because I was getting nowhere.

The Bottom Line
This game got great reviews when it was released and even won awards. It is still a good game and if you have nimble fingers you'll probably get a lot more out of this game than I did.

ZX Spectrum · by piltdown_man (233924) · 2010

An excellent mishmash of classic arcade shooters

The Good
Imagine Software first came onto the scene in the early Eighties and one of their first projects was Arcadia, a shoot-em-up in which I consider to be a mishmash of early arcade games such as Space Invaders and Galaxian. Like both of these games, you take control of a ship trying to wipe out waves upon waves of enemies. Your ship is equipped with two lasers instead of you, and can move in all four directions. trying to shoot enemies above you that move right to left across the screen, making their way toward you.

The game makes use of high-res graphics, that are hardly seen in any VIC-20 game. You get to deal with all sorts of enemies, such as arrows, boomerangs, and butterflies. When you shoot them down, the resulting smoke reminds me a bit like the vehicle from Lunar Jetman. When you are killed by an enemy, the resulting explosion looks neat, and so is the way enemies go back where they came from if there is an explosion. I find it amusing that if there are any enemies below the explosion, they will just ram into you and explode themselves.

Arcadia is an extremely difficult game. The enemy’s projectiles come thick and fast, and you will be wiped out within five seconds the moment you start the game if you don’t keep an eye on everything. To make it easier for you, you start the game with seven lives, with additional ones being earned the longer you stay in the game. Also, each wave has a timer, and when it runs out, the enemies are wiped out instantly and you proceed to the next wave.

Sonics are not bad, blending in with the action. The explosion of your own ship is satisfying. There is no background music, although you don’t need any in a shoot-em-up like this.

The Bad
The playing area is scrunched up in the center of the screen, meaning that everything is huddled together instead of being spaced apart like other versions. There is no two-player option in the game.

The Bottom Line
As Imagine’s first title, Arcadia is an excellent game. It is an interesting take on classic arcade titles from the ‘80s, in which your ship must wipe out enemies that swoop down toward you. A neat feature of the game is the ability to maneuver in all four directions, and when your ship explodes, the way that the enemies go back to where they came from is neat as well. The graphics and sound are excellent, and the amount of lives you start off with makes up for the extreme difficulty of the game. An excellent title to add to your VIC-20 games library.

VIC-20 · by Katakis | カタキス (43091) · 2019

Imagine's first release with unique elements but poor presentation

The Good
The game boasts a unique countdown wave mechanic in which you need to outlast, rather than destroy a wave.

The Bad
There's huge swing in difficulty from wave to wave, the controls are awkwardly placed on the keyboard, and the audio is limited to an occasional isolated tone

The Bottom Line
The change in context - survival rather than destruction - is refreshing if you've been playing a lot of fixed screen shooters, but doesn't entirely make up for the poor presentation.

ZX Spectrum · by mcoorlim (17) · 2023


Imagine's launch title

Arcadia was the very first game of Imagine Software. It was created by Dave Lawson, co-founder of the company, in the moment of time when tenure between him and Mark Butler had not been yet materialized as an entrepreneurship. The game was supposed to be Imagine's launch title and proved to be a huge success.


  • Computer & Video Games Golden Joystick Awards
    • 1983 - #4 in the Game of the Year category
    • 1983 - #3 in the Best Arcade Style Game category


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Related Sites +

  • Arcadia
    Wikipedia entry
  • World of Spectrum
    Archive file / Download and play links / Additional material / Remakes / Player reviews / Magazine references / Magazine adverts

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 47368
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Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by piltdown_man.

Dragon 32/64 added by Rola. Windows added by Rik Hideto. VIC-20 added by Kabushi. Antstream added by lights out party. Commodore 64 added by LepricahnsGold.

Additional contributors: LepricahnsGold, Patrick Bregger, mailmanppa, ZeTomes.

Game added August 16, 2010. Last modified January 22, 2024.