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Arcadia (VIC-20)

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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
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Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (40602)
Written on  :  Apr 07, 2019
Platform  :  VIC-20
Rating  :  3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars
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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.