|Mode(s)||Single-player, 2 player alternating|
Demon Attack is a video game written by Rob Fulop and published by Imagic. It was originally for the Atari 2600, then ported to the Intellivision, Odyssey², Atari 8-bit, Commodore VIC-20, Commodore 64, PC (booter), TRS-80 and TRS-80 Color Computer. There was also a port to the TI-99/4A titled Super Demon Attack.
Demon Attack is supposedly based on the 1979 arcade shooter Galaxian, though it closely resembles several waves from the 1980 arcade game Phoenix. The similarities prompted a lawsuit from Atari, who had purchased the latter's home video game rights. Imagic settled out of court, and Demon Attack became Imagic's best-selling game as of 1983.
Marooned on the ice planet Krybor, the player uses a laser cannon to destroy legions of demons that attack from above. Visually, the demons appear in waves similar to other space-themed shooters, but individually combine from the sides of the screen to the area above the player's cannon.
Each wave introduces new weapons with which the demons attack, such as long streaming lasers and laser clusters. Starting in Wave 5, demons also divide into two smaller, bird-like creatures that eventually attempt descent onto the player's cannon. Starting in Wave 9, the demons' shots follow directly beneath the monsters, making it difficult for the player to slip underneath to get in a direct shot.
The game was originally programmed to end after the 84th wave, as Fulop did not expect anyone to "wrap" the game. Two days after its initial release however, a kid was able to beat the game. After this initial run of cartridges, Fulop went back and changed one line of code so that the game never ends, but never gets harder after the 84th wave.
Commenting on Demon Attack's critical reception, AllGame described it as "one of the most critically praised Atari 2600 games of all time." The VCS version is considered to be a classic by many Atari fans.
Video magazine reviewed the VCS version of Demon Attack in 1982, describing it as "quite simply excellent", and characterizing it as a "true coin-op-level program". Covering the game again in its 1982 Guide to Electronic Games, Video editors called the cartridge "a state-of-the-art invasion game" and suggested that its "slick graphics" represented "a quantum leap for the VCS",:52 however Video reserved higher praise for the Intellivision version of the game which was described as "even more thrilling graphically than the original VCS edition".:53 Video Games praised the Intellivision version of the game, stating that "while the VCS version is a very good TV-game, this one is even better". Ahoy! called the VIC-20 version "excellent ... it's a super-grabber type of twitch game, and good for a few long nights". Demon Attack won the 1983 Arcade Award for "Best Videogame of the Year", with the judges commenting that the game had "turned out to be yardstick against which gamers measured the quality of each new cartridge during 1982".:30
AllGame gave the game a four and a half star rating out of five, referring to it as "an excellent game in the ubiquitous "slide-and-shoot" genre" with graphics that were "beautifully drawn and animated". The review also noted that "As with so many shooters of its type, the action can get repetitive, but no matter -- the game is fun, the enemies are incredibly varied, and the sound effects are solid."
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