(Star Wars Arcade Flyer, 1983)
(Star Wars Sit-Down Arcade Cabinet, 1983)
After all these years and all the various iterations of the franchise across many platforms, it is this game, from Atari, first released in1983, that remains the best Star Wars game on any system / platform. When you saw it sitting in an arcade, it drew you towards it like no other cabinet. It was quite normal to have a crowd around it, and a queue to play it. One of the all time great Film – Arcade conversions, and one that took many of my 50p coins in the mid eighties.
Why? Simple. It is an incredibly immersive experience, especially when you are sitting in the arcade cabinet / cockpit. This, combined with the sounds of Star Wars (the chirping of R2-D2, the calming voice of Obi Wan, the roar of Chewbacca, the whizzing TIE fighters, the MUSIC!!!). It takes its cues from the original film. It is inspired by one of the most exciting flying/dogfight sequences in Cinema history and puts you in the cockpit of an X-wing fighter attacking the Death Star. The game is in three stages: First you have to shoot the Tie-fighters before they shoot you. Then you fly down to the surface of the Death Star and shoot the towers.At the climax of the game, you get to fly down the trench and shoot the photon torpedoes into the Death Star’s exhaust port (its Achilles Heal) to finish. Once you achieve that, there is a wonderful end screen that shows your handiwork, as the Death Star explodes. Victory to the rebellion!
Then you get to go back to the start and do it again only this time it gets harder.
This game is considered the #4 most popular game of all time according to Killer List of Video Games. (Wikipedia)