Galaxian
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Namco
1979
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Shooter
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Released by Namco (and manufactured in the US by Midway) as a response to the runaway success of Taito's Space Invaders, Galaxian upped the ante by adding the novel mechanic of dive bombing aliens, which added both visual appeal and heightened tension. Compared to the former's columns of predictably marching alien rows, the aliens of Galaxian were fast, unpredictable and aggressive, not to mention colorful and vibrantly realized for a 1979 arcade game. Not only do the aliens attack your ship directly, but for the high score-chasing masses of the 80s, how you killed them mattered – destroying the flagship and its escorts yields significant extra points. Galaxian's success led the way to Galaga, which became an even greater phenomenon.

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