National Game Registry 1980: Defender

original platform
key personnel
Eugene Jarvis, Larry Demar

Defender is an exercise in overcomplication, featuring a joystick and FIVE buttons – one each for thrust, teleportation, firing, smart bomb deployment, and directional changing, but the complex controls proved to be part of Defender‘s charm.  As with many games of the period (and afterwards), aliens are attacking and the hero must thwart them.  Unlike other space shooters of the time, these aliens are micromanagers, out to abduct every single person one by one.  The Defender must destroy all of the aliens within a stage and protect the helpless humans milling about.   

Defender was inducted on April 29th, 2009.

Return to the National Game Registry to view more inductees.

One response to “National Game Registry 1980: Defender

  1. There is no video game quite like defender. I became a pilot, and until I saw this video, I didn’t really realize how the game shaped my skills. Here they are: multiple controls, high stress fast environment, empathy for fellow life forms being abducted, expensive consequences if you fail. Excellent training.

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