Defender Game on the BBC Micro Computer

Defender (1980)

Defender was developed by Williams Electronics in 1980. It featured 2D, side-scrolling graphics which were ahead of their time. Set on an alien planet, the idea of the game was to defeat waves of aliens whilst protecting astronauts on the planets surface.

The game spawned lots of clones, including Dropzone which was released by Arena Graphics in 1984 for the Atari 8-bit and Commodore 64 computers. The game won critical acclaim in most computer magazines of the day, including a gold medal in Zzap! 64 for the C64 version with a 95% rating. I remember playing Dropzone on my Atari 800XL and it was extremely responsive and a joy to play.
Defender Arcade Game from the 80s

No, I'm not going to make any rude comments about girls and joysticks!

Defender Game Screenshot
Defender on the Atari 2600
This video clip features the Atari 2600 console version of the game which, of course, is very different to the arcade version (both in terms of gameplay and graphics) due to the hardware's limited capabilities. In fact, all of the 8-bit versions really lacked the refinement of the original.
Commodore 64 Version of Defender



Defender Atari 2600 Cartridge