This is a tough game to review. It is a classic and deserve respect. But it is also a dated game and when played today it does not stand up as well as other classics. The gameplay is still addictive and the nostalgia keeps it going, but as you play you realize there is very little to the game. While this is true with many games of this era, it is more noticeable in this game.
The first thing to remember with Omega Race is that it is a spinner game. To really appreciate the game, you need to have a spinner. While it is playable with a joystick, it is not the same. Luckily my Devastator II has a spinner, so I can experience it like it was meant to be played. The gameplay is quite simple, you move with the spinner, one button is thrust and one is a fire button. There are a bunch of things that I am guessing are ships. They look like badly drawn circles. You shoot them and one or more will become energized and come after you. The nice thing is that only a few ships actually shoot. The rest are like sheep, just waiting for the slaughter. As the game progresses, more and more become dangerous. But at the beginning of the game, you can just drive around and blow them away.
Most of the game consists of you zooming around the circular field and shooting things. They do drop triangles that are deadly if you run into them. They are worth points, so shoot them. Once in awhile, a ship will go crazy and turn into what looks like a star or a bunch of scribbled lines, depends on your imagination. This will go fast and come after you. This is by far the hardest thing you will experience in the game.
A nice feature is that you can bounce off the side walls. They work like large rubber bands and will send you flying around the screen. This makes things more interesting but also can be deadly as it is hard to control your ship. Bounce the wrong way and it is lights out. A nice thing is you can keep shooting in this game. Unlike alot of early games where you could shoot one shot at a time, this one allows you to have rapid fire. Works good to get rid of the sheep as I call them.
The graphics are vector and so they are very simple. There is not much to them. The sound is also limited. It gives the game a very primitive look. I would have liked to see some variety in the ships you battled or something. It is just the same stuff over and over and over. While it is fun to get a higher score, it does not make you want to keep playing.
As I said, it is a hard game to review. I liked it as a youth and I still do enjoy it. I just see the limitations of the game and find it hard to list it among my favorites. I play it from time to time as there are few games that take advantage of the spinner, but it is not a great game. A little more variety and it could have been great. As it stands it is a good game.
This is just a review of the arcade machine. If you are looking for the actual arcade machine, you may want to check out ebay. Click below to see if you can find this game.