Odyssey – Alpine Skiing

Alpine Skiing is a sport game released by Magnavox for Odyssey², in 1979.

One or two players ski down the slopes in three game modes: slalom, grand slalom or downhill. In slalom mode, players will ski through 55 portals, if the player misses a portal, the timer stops and another counter starts, counting the number of faults. The participant with the least amount of faults wins. The great slalom mode is similar, with the only exception being that the route is longer and the portals are further away from each other. Finally, in the downhill mode, the player who crosses the finish line in less time wins.

Odyssey – Alien Invaders Plus

Alien Invaders – Plus is of course inspired by the Space Invaders game, but does not come even close to it. It was developed by Ed Averett and published by Magnavox in 1980 for Odyssey².

As mentioned above, the objective of Alien invaders is the same as in Space invaders. Luckily the gameplay changes a bit, our little ship can be destroyed and the player is then left on foot and has to move under one of the black rectangles to find his vehicle, after the ship reapears, the black rectangle disappears. As for the rest, the player has to survive the attacks of the alien ship and destroy it before it hits the ground. I have a deja vu. Do you?

Namco – Galaga Arcade

Galaga is a shoot’em up type of game, like most 80s arcade games, that is marketed in 1981 by Namco. It is in fact the sequel of the Galaxian game. Importantly, Galaga is the first arcade game that allows a single player to play with two ships simultaneously. It is also the first to have bonus levels (called “challenging stages”) between levels.

flying down toward the player, firing bullets at and attempting to crash into them

The player controls a spaceship that moves only horizontally at the bottom of the screen and can only fire single shots. As in Galaxian, vessels can fly down towards the player, firing bullets at and attempting to crash into him. Some vessels (the mother ship or “Boss Galaga”) have the opportunity to approach the player’s ship and capture it. One of Galaga’s attractive features that its predecessors didn’t have is the ability for a single player to control two ships simultaneously. To get there, the player must perform the following operation:

1. Get captured by a mother ship
2. Allow the mother ship to reach its place at the top
3. Wait until the mother ship, along with the captured ship, start attacking again
4. Shoot the mother ship and destroy it (taking care not to touch the captured vessel)
5. The captured vessel is placed next to the new player’s ship

After this maneuver, the player has two vessels and can fire two shots simultaneously. However, he plays with two lives at once. He is also twice as vulnerable since he is twice as large.