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GAME FACT: Use both buttons to fire lasers in 2 directions.

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Reviews (N-Z)


981 (1-2 Players)



Overview and game play

Vanguard is a multi-direction scrolling shooter for 1-2 players. One coin is required per player and each of the players takes turns to control a spaceship by using the joystick through various tunnels filled with an assortment of enemies and obstacles to destroy. As the game progresses, the direction the players spaceship flies changes from left to right, to diagonally up or down and even vertical flying. If flying left to right, pressing button 1 causes the spaceship to fire a laser behind it and pressing button 2 fires a laser in front of the spaceship. If flying any other direction, buttons one and two fire lasers left and right respectively. Each player starts the game with 3 spaceships and if the players’ spaceship collides with any of the scenery, an enemy bullet or an enemy then the spaceship will be destroyed and once all the players’ spaceships have been destroyed the game will be over.



At various points in the game, an icon appears titled “energy”. If the player flies his/her craft over the energy icon, the players’ spaceship becomes temporarily invincible and is protected by a colourful force field. The force field lasts for a short time and a beige time bar appears at the top of the screen to show the player how long it will last. Also at the top of the screen is a map of the tunnel the player is flying in and a white dot showing the players’ position. At the top left of the screen, the number of spaceships remaining, the round number and the players score as well as the highest score are displayed. Points are awarded to the player for shooting enemies and a points bonus is awarded for completing each round, (i.e. successfully flying though a tunnel). Once a tunnel is complete, the next tunnel appears and the game continues. If the players’ game is over while in the first tunnel, s/he may insert more coins within 30 seconds to continue. However, if the game ends in any subsequent tunnels then the player must start the whole game again.



The graphics of Vanguard are quite simple but about average for a game released in 1981. The backgrounds appear to be designed by a minimalist artist who has kept the scenes deliberately basic by design. The Scrolling is smooth and is particularly good when the spaceship is flying diagonally up or down. The enemies the player encounters are average by design and each have their own unique flight patterns and methods of attack that maintains the players’ interest in the game.




Simple chip-based sound effects and music are used in vanguard to add to the game play. Music is played at the start but does not play during the game. However, when the players craft flies over an energy station, a tune plays to indicate that the craft is temporarily invincible. Bleeps and blips are used as spot effects to signify on-screen events that are above average for an early 80’s game.



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