Arcadia (video game)

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Arcadia cassette inlay.jpg
Spectrum cassette inlay
Developer(s) David H. Lawson - ZX Spectrum
Publisher(s) Imagine Software
Platform(s) Vic 20, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64[1]
Release date(s) 1982
Genre(s) Fixed shooter
Mode(s) Single player

Arcadia was a two-dimensional shoot 'em up released in time for Christmas 1982 on the Sinclair Spectrum, Vic 20, and later on the Commodore 64.


ZX Spectrum screenshot of level 1

Published by Imagine Software, Arcadia was a Space Invaders style fixed shooter that also took elements of Gorf and Galaxian to create a simple - yet for its time - fast action game. The player controlled a space ship as the aliens scrolled and moved freely down the screen. The game consisted of 12 different levels of descending aliens. After level 12 the game looped back to level 1 with no extra difficulty. An extra life was rewarded after every four levels. Advancing to the next level involved staying alive until the timer in the top left corner ticked from 99 to 0, once zero was reached the surviving aliens descended rapidly down the screen.

Points awarded per alien destroyed were in line with the current level: Shoot down an alien on level 1 and you were awarded 1 point, roll around the levels and the same alien killed on level 13 was now worth 13 points.


Arcadia was well received by the review magazine of the time - ZX Computing said it was "highly addictive and well presented",[2] Computer & Video Games said "it lives up to the advertisement blurb and gives you a good addictive game of Space Attack" - rating it 8 out of 10.[3] Popular Computing Weekly were particularly impressed with the graphics, stating that they "have no equal in the Spectrum field," and "lift this game into a class of its own", rating it 86%.[4][5]


The ZX version was written to be compatible with the Fuller Sound Box - which included a joystick port. If the box was not connected the nonexistent port was read incorrectly making the space ship occasionally move and fire of its own free will. This was potentially hazardous on some screens - such as level 4 "The Pins" - where it was tactically sound to leave a single alien falling rather than shoot it and have an entire squadron descend on the player again.


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