In this game, you control three fighter squadrons which you must deploy against five or six alien squadrons that are coming to attack your Mothership. The game alternates between the radar screen and the battle screen, where you control a gunsight which you use to fire your laser shots at the alien ships. Be careful not to let any of the alien squadrons get close to the Mothership, or else they'll start firing upon it and it will soon be game over.
A modified version of this game was used in the early 1980s as part of various TV stations' TV Powww game show, where the player by using the telephone simply had to shoot as many alien ships as possible before time ran out by saying "Pow!". It was later released as part of the multi-game Sharp Shot cartridge for the Intellivision as Space Gunner.
This game provides examples of
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The fighter squadrons are blue, white, and gold.
- Difficulty Levels: Five in the Intellivision version, four in the Atari 2600 version.
- First-Person Shooter
- Game Over: When you lose all your squadron fighters or when the Mothership is destroyed. In the former case, the alien squadrons will continue toward the Mothership and proceed to destroy it. The game also ends when you destroy all the alien squadrons.
- Lead the Target: The best way to deal with alien ships, as they fire shots that will destroy one of your fighters if it turns orange and touches your gunsight.
- Pragmatic Adaptation: The Atari 2600 game Space Attack adapted most of the keypad controls of the Intellivision game into the single-button joystick controller. However, this led to some keypad controls, like the ones for sending your fleets back to the Mothership and being able to leave the battle screen during a fight, being removed from the final product.
- Red Alert: An alarm sounds when an alien squadron is very close to your Mothership and is now firing at it.
- Shoot 'em Up: An early 1980s "into-the-screen" example with tactical elements.
- Space Flecks: Strangely averted, as your fighter battles take place against a static star background.
- Timed Mission: The TV Powww and Sharp Shot versions of this game.
- Video-Game Lives: Three fighters per squadron, resulting in nine lives total.
- Writing Around Trademarks: The alien ships suspiciously resemble Cylon ships from Battlestar Galactica (1978). Originally this game was going to be based on that licensed property, but Mattel couldn't secure the rights to it.