Tag Archives: defender

Choplifter [Sega Master System] – Review and Let’s Play


Of all the games I’ll play on the Sega Master System, Choplifter will likely be the only one that originated on the Apple II. Designed by Dan Gorlin and originally released in 1982, it’s a side-scrolling shoot ‘em up that emphasizes hostage rescue and accordingly, draws comparison to Defender. In truth, the version I played has more in common with the games I’ve previously written about since it’s actually based on Sega’s 1985 arcade release of Choplifter. Like most of what I’ve played thus far, I found it both enjoyable and challenging. Continue reading Choplifter [Sega Master System] – Review and Let’s Play

Chopper Command [Atari 2600] – Review

I also have some old games with Caldor stickers on them. This prompted me to read up on them via Wikipedia.
I also have some old games with Caldor stickers on them. This prompted me to read up on them via Wikipedia. I know, I know, everyone tells me not to have too much fun.

These Activision games I’ve written about recently originate in an era that was ripe with many forms of inspiration. As everyone was learning how to design video games at the same time, it wasn’t uncommon to take inspiration from other designer’s games and remake them wholeheartedly or riff off of their design. Bob Whitehead’s Chopper Command is one such game.

Released for the Atari 2600 in 1982, Chopper Command strongly resembles the arcade classic Defender. As the pilot of a military helicopter, it is the player’s responsibility to protect convoys of transport vehicles from enemy aircraft; the player is a defender in other words. As the player zooms and booms through stages, the camera follows their actions just as it does in Defender. When the player switches directions, the camera quickly follows suit and swivels to allow ample viewing to that particular side of the screen. These resemblances do not make Chopper Command less of a game though. I thought it played fantastically; it’s reportedly much better than the Atari 2600 port of Defender.

Of note, is the game's vital use of radar, showing players just what's off screen.
Of note, is the game’s vital use of radar, showing players just what’s off screen.

There are three related unlockables in Activision Anthology: a commercial (seriously lacking R. Lee Ermey), a patch, and a gameplay mode. They require 4,000, 8,000, and 6,000 points respectively and getting all three isn’t too hard.

Williams Arcade Classics (Game.com) – Review

These games are classics!

As with the last Game.com game I discussed, Williams Arcade Classics is a collection of multiple games. Unlike just about every other game I’ve played on the system, this one isn’t half bad.

Collecting together Joust, Defender, Robotron, Stargate (Defender II), and Sinistar it’s not a collection to scoff at – these games are arcade classics. Because these games are so old, they’re emulated fairly accurately on the system. Now they’re not perfect, but they’re close enough to still appreciate that special something that made these games so great in the first place. Still, these games are easily available on many, many other platforms, emulated much better, and usually in larger collections of games.

Revisiting these classics reminds how instantly fun and challenging they are. They’re not perfect on the system and they suffer from the system’s motion blurring effect, but these games are still worth playing, but on a different system.