Gorf.jpg (11293 bytes)
The Many Faces of.........Gorf

by Doug Saxon

Gorf is another one of those popular space games that was ever so present during the early arcade craze. Though I cannot be sure on this, supposedly Bally/Midway produced Galaxian, Gorf, Galaga, and Gyruss in the arcades in that order and they were all sequels to each other (feel free to correct me on this). Gorf has a taste of just about every space game genre. There are four stages or "missions" in the game. The first is an almost exact reproduction of Space Invaders, the second has more of a Galaxian swing to it with aliens actually coming down at you, the third is perhaps what set the example for Gyruss, an attempt at a 3-D attack, and the fourth and final stage is that which is seen on games such as Phoenix and Demon Attack: a big mother ship to destroy. What probably holds a special place in most gamer's hearts is the voice at the arcades. An alien-like voice seducing you to enter a quarter and play. Outside the arcades, this game can be found on the Atari 2600, Atari 5200, and Colecovision.

Bronze Medal: Atari 5200
This is a classic example of a game that could have been good, real good, but the controllers kill it. Actually, it's not the controllers that are entirely at fault, but more so the programmer. Movement is way too sensitive. A slight adjustment to the left will shoot you all the way over to the left as will a slight adjustment to the right shoot you all the way over to the right. The introduction is really cool and the graphics and sound are pretty good, but so what if the gameplay sucks! (sounds like another N64 game, yes?) Another disappointment is the lack of the voice. The 5200 is certainly capable of this as can be heard on Berzerk, but why it wasn't implemented into Gorf, I suppose no one will ever know.

Silver Medal: Atari 2600
This is not a bad game, not a bad game at all. It *is* playable. In fact, it's very playable. But if some additions were made to the graphics and sound department the fun of the game would really increase. There is just something missing, perhaps some stars in the background, a cool explosion, just something to give the game a little more personality. But, heck, this is the Atari 2600.

Gold Medal: Colecovision
The best version by far. Although it still does not include the voice at the arcades that so many people love, it has the best gameplay, the best graphics, and the best sound. It does have a slight taste of the arrogant personality found at the arcade. When your game is over, a message is displayed, "Game Over Space Cadet." Or if you die on a higher level the other rank will be displayed instead, but a game calling you a Space Cadet is definitely reason enough to play again to gain a more worthy title.

(Doug Saxon is an engineering student at the University of Cincinnati. He's mainly into 2600, 5200, Colecovision, and Intellivision. He's also a proud owner of a mint Chase the Chuckwagon cartridge and Swordquest Waterworld. He can be reached via email at saxondj@email.uc.edu. Doug has finished his Atari 5200 collection. If you have any for sale or trade give him an e-mail.")

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