You control a space jet and try to avoid all kinds of dangers and shoot down enemies in the Zaxxon game for Atari 2600. The game was originally released in isometric view as an arcade gaming machine from the SEGA company.
The view is different for Atari 2600 - wannabe 3D - and it's very inaccurate. It is quite difficult to orientate in the Zaxxon space, especially for players used for today's perfect 3D graphics. The biggest problem is the height of objects that you need to avoid. Sometimes your jet is simply too high or too low, even though it doesn't look like it, and it hits the object. It takes some time to get used to this inaccuracy.
There are 4 phases of the game in Zaxxon.
1. Flying over the base: You need to keep an eye on your fuel level, which is dropping during the flight and needs to be restored by shooting fuel tanks - blue cylinders. Enemy objects can be avoided or destroyed. Sometimes you need to fly through a hole in a wall.
2. Space: You need to avoid enemy jets flying towards you (you can only move to left or right), or shoot them down.
3. This phase is identical with the first one.
4. Final boss: If you manage to fly through the base in phase 3, an enemy robot will appear at the end of it. You need to shoot the robot in the head several times (3 times in the first difficulty level), before he shoots a rocket at you.
The cycle repeats with higher difficulty after you destroy the robot.
You can't controll a direction of the flight, you always see the plane from behind and the backgrounds moving towards you. The plane's horizontal and vertical position is controled with the joystick, shooting with the joystick button.
You have a total of 5 lifes in the Zaxxon game. The number can bee seen at the bottom centre of the screen. The arrows next to it represent the fuel level. There are points at the top of the screen. You will gain an extra life for 10 000 points.
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