Demon Attack is a great evolution of the good old Space Invaders. In addition to trying to shoot an enemy that is erratically flying around the screen, there are no shields for you to hide behind. And its the enemies closest to you that unleash a barrage of bombs, which makes it pretty hard to work out when to dodge underneath them to try and launch a successful attack. Another neat evolution on Space Invaders is that in later waves, the demons split into two – essentially doubling your problem space after achieving a successful hit. Even then, if you didn’t shoot down these new smaller twin demons quick enough, one of them would start to home in on you in a kamikaze type attack. This was a great way of increasing the challenge level without necessarily relying on increasing the speed of the demons or other more simple mechanics.
For the Atari 2600 – the overall aesthetics of Demon Attack were excellent in terms of its visuals, such as fine detail of the demon character designs, colour and clarity. These were far superior than games like Space Invaders and Adventure and really added to the overall game play enjoyment.
But, while it was great little game, Demon Attack was still fairly simple and didn’t reveal too many game design tips.
The next game on the list was supposed to be Combat…
…but Combat is fundamentally a two player game…the OG Multiplayer! It is also a super simple game – basically two players moving their icons around and trying to shoot each other. While I love that, its not something I’ll get too many game design tips from. So I’ll skip over Combat.
One note to make about Combat is the awesomeness of its cover art on the game box. Who wouldn’t buy a military sim game with an F-104 Starfighter on the front of it!