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User Reviews

There are no reviews for the Atari 2600 release of this game. You can use the links below to write your own review or read reviews for the other platforms of this game.

Our Users Say

Category Description User Score
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work and the game plays. 3.9
Graphics The visual quality of the game 3.4
Personal Slant A personal rating of the game, regardless of other attributes 3.6
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 3.2
Story / Presentation The main creative ideas in the game and how well they are executed. This rating is used for every game except compilations and special editions which don't have unique game content not available in a standalone game or DLC. 3.0
Overall User Score (24 votes) 3.5

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
Tilt (Jan, 1983)
Une adaptation rigoureuse du Defender de Williams, le jeu d'arcades. Dommage toutefois que le scanner et le vaisseau Defender clignotent par intermittence. Vraiment pour experts.
Make no mistake about it. This game isn't arcade perfect by a long shot. But the Atari 2600 game, even if it isn't the exact same game, still does the name that it was given proud. This game can be replayed to increase one's score, although, of course, the Atari 2600 doesn't save high scores. Still, the game is worth replaying for the Atari gamer just because it's so much fun. I heavily recommend finding this game if you are a fan of the Atari 2600 and don't have it yet.
JoyStik (Dec, 1982)
Defender combines fast action and good audio/visual effects in a much better-than-average alien shootout encounter. The basic Defender concept remains true to the original arcade game. You command a Defender Ship saving Humanoids from the aforementioned Alien bad guys. You're equipped with Lasers and Smart Bombs that can clear the skyline of attackers with one shot. You can also Hyperspace your way to another part of town if the going gets especially tough (and the tough want to get going in a hurry). You can keep track of aliens that are out of your immediate view via a long-range Scanner at the top of the screen. Eliminate one wave of extra-terrestrials and another, powerful wave will move in on you. Nothing's easy in the big city.
The Atari Times (Sep 02, 2002)
All in all, however, this isn't a bad translation of an arcade classic. While I wouldn't swap it for my copy of Stargate, I do enjoy firing up this classic from time to time and protecting mankind from aliens up to no good. It sure as heck "feels" similar to the Defender arcade game, and that's good enough for me. This hated title has received a few knocks too many, I think.
Defender looks OK and plays a little less than OK, but it's fucking Defender! In '81 it was a must-have... now? Not so much. But - it's fucking Defender!! It's not such a bad game and being able to play it at HOME in 1981 was awesome! I can't rave about this release, but I insist you play it often regardless!
Oldies Rising (Jun 13, 2012)
Defender est un précurseur à bien des égards. Outre le fait qu’il proposait pour la première fois un scrolling horizontal et un radar, cinq boutons étaient prévus quant à son utilisation, ce qui ne dessert évidemment pas ce support Atari 2600, limité à son seul bouton poussoir. On regrettera également un clignotement ininterrompu entravant la progression classique dans un shoot’em up et rendant le tout quelque peu brouillon. Mais exit ces quelques défauts, ce soft est le parfait exemple de la formidable capacité des développeurs de l’époque à s’adapter avec les moyens du bord et à proposer un gameplay varié malgré moult contraintes technologiques.
neXGam (Nov 08, 2014)
Dem in der Arcade sehr erfolgreichem Game wurde leider das gleiche Schicksal wie Pac Man zuteil. Leider fehlt dem Titel gerade dieses gewisse Etwas um auch als Defender erkannt zu werden. Das Original bestach durch eine gute und schnelle Vektorgrafik welche auf dem VCS leider der Blöckchengrafik gewichen ist. Weiteres großes Problem ist auch das extreme Flimmern, welches nahezu alle Objekte auf dem Schirm und bei einem Schuss sogar das eigene Raumschiff verschwinden lässt und somit die Kollisionsabfrage kurzzeitig ausser Kraft setzt.
Atari HQ (2001)
If you're a seasoned Defender who can live with the many shortcomings found in the 2600 version, then you may find some enjoyment -- don't bet on it, though. Do yourself a favor and pop in the much better Defender II.
Woodgrain Wonderland (Dec 04, 2016)
Defender has a lot of problems, but as a kid I enjoyed it immensely. It’s also the first game I ever “turned over” (999,999 points). As long as you can overlook its flaws, there is enjoyment to be found in this humble port.
The Video Game Critic (Jul 14, 2002)
This is the game everybody had but nobody loved. In the arcade, Defender was a huge hit, distinguished by its horizontal scrolling, complicated control scheme, and ultra-high difficulty level. This sloppy Atari 2600 adaptation retains the same basic features, but its graphics and gameplay aren't even in the same ballpark as the original.