Astro Battles is a Space Invaders clone that was the first mini-game on the Gorf arcade release. Four other games were included as well, although the Galaxians game was left off on all the home releases.
At the very start of a game, a large Gorf robot appears at the top of the screen, which it moves very rapidly from one side to the other while spitting out invaders. If a player is able to shoot the robot it will continue distributing invaders.
There are no bunkers, but rather a shield that covers a large area of the lower portion of the screen. Like with bunkers, though, invaders’ shots will poke holes in it. The shield disappears briefly with every shot the player takes.
Along with Gorf robots hopping across the screen, the UFO from the original Space Invaders, as well as a second, differently-shaped bonus ship appears as well. Also, if a player’s ship gets destroyed with only two invaders (or less) left, the game will still advance to the next wave.
Other included gamesEdit
Laser Attack featured ships that would fire a laser that would make a very long path down the screen, along with having other ships (and small Gorf robots) that would peel off from their formations and make an attack run at players.
Galaxians is a clone of Galaxian, although with the addition of the occasional Gorf robot appearing above the aliens, and Space Warp involves shooting ships that come out of a black hole that fire at the player. The final stage is the Mother Ship, where the player has to shoot through a shield in order to destroy it. As the ship starts taking damage, pieces of debris fly off from the ship, which can destroy the player's ship upon contact, although the debris can be shot for points.
Gorf was one of the earlier games that talked. The player would also receive a rank, as each time a player made it through all five games their rank would increase.
The player could move their ship in several directions, as well as being able to maneuver around the bottom few inches of the screen (unlike with just moving left and right on Space Invaders and Galaxian). The firing scheme was unique at the time, with a “quark laser”, which pressing the trigger on the joystick would cancel out the first shot and replace it with another one.
Players’ ships would get destroyed by various enemy fire, craft, debris, and even the point values that briefly appeared onscreen on Laser Attack.
Differences between versionsEdit
All versions are missing the Galaxians game, since it would require a second license, as Namco originally made Galaxian.
No saucers or bonus Gorf robots appear on Astro Battles, as well as a shield. There are far fewer enemy ships on the Laser Attack wave, plus their attack patterns are different and they move a lot faster. On Space Warp, there is no indication as to how many enemy ships are left and the player’s shots cancel out the enemy shots, which also occurs with the Flag Ship, which also has no shield, nor any debris when the player starts shooting it to pieces. The player also can only move left and right on all screens, not up and down or diagonally.
The bonus Space Invaders saucer appears on several screens other than the Astro Battles wave, plus Astro Battles was slightly renamed to Astro Battle.
Players can choose from several different skill levels. The second, different UFO in Astro Battles is a lot larger than on the arcade original. The shield on that level also doesn't allow players shots to go through, plus with the infamous 5200 controller, the player's ship darts around the screen very quickly and is hard to control.