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The battle mode is entertaining but not that challenging. The lack of overlay makes the radar mode a chore. Until you memorize the different maneuvers necessary for choosing the aliens you want to go after and the squadrons with which you want to attack, you will find yourself glancing at the instructions often, putting you at an disadvantage.
All in all, this is a fun little game that involves a bit of strategy and has more depth than most shooters for the 2600. This game can be roughly lumped in to the first-person space shooter category along with games like Activision's StarMaster and Atari's Star Raiders. It's not terribly uncommon, either, so you should be able to pick it for next to nothing. Be sure to buy a game with a manual, though, as you'll need it!
Space Attack's controls are confusing, so you'll probably need to consult the manual. When one of your fleets meets the enemy, you switch to a battle screen that lets you to move a crosshair and shoot enemies. I do like the fact that the explosion of one enemy ship can take out another. You either win or lose this game - there is no score.
I actually owned Space Attack as a kid; in fact, it was my last-ever purchase of a 2600 game at retail in 1988. I evidently had more patience back then because I remember figuring out the game, enjoying it and if I remember correctly even winning it. Today, however, I know there are much better games in this general category just on the VCS alone.