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Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (42000)
Written on  :  Dec 21, 2019
Platform  :  VIC-20
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
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Yet another perfect arcade clone from Commodore

The Good

Space Invaders was a popular arcade game released in the late ‘70s, where you control a laser base that must kill rows of aliens while doing everything you can to avoid their fire. It was so popular in fact that it caused a coin shortage in Japan. The game was ported to Atari home consoles, as well as the NES and MSX. But not one official port was released for early computers such as the C64 and VIC-20, but that all changed when Commodore released a stunning clone that imitates the game as close as possible.

That game is Avenger, and it shows off the capabilities of the VIC-20. The cartridge for the game is housed in Commodore’s standard gray packaging. The illustration in the middle of the cover is a bit inaccurate. The cover image is a bit inaccurate - it shows the protagonist sitting in the same cockpit seen in Paratrooper, yet no such thing exists in the game. Included in the box is a two-page spread telling you how to operate the game and the basic gameplay.

Upon starting the game, the player is presented with the same two elements that was present in the original arcade version – the score advance table and the attract mode. Since this is a Space Invaders clone for the VIC-20, there is no need to insert a coin, just press the [F1] key and the game starts. Gameplay-wise, I like how the HUD mimics the one from the original coin-op, complete with.

The invaders are quite colorful, making them on par with the game’s sequel. They move down the screen like they should, but you need to keep an eye on them at all times, as they tend to fire their shots at you every five seconds. The sound is fairly accurate, with beeps that go down in pitch and the wavy sound when the mothership passes by the screen. The keyboard controls are fair, with [L] and [;] used to move the ship, while [A] fires the cannon. Alternatively, a joystick can be used.

The Bad

There is nothing bad about this game.

The Bottom Line

Commodore has produced stunning arcade clones for its own machines, and Avenger is no different. Anyone who was still around when Space Invaders came out should need no introduction. All the game mechanics are there, the graphics are great, and the sound is very good. Two thumbs up, way up!