Star Raiders II, Atari 8-bit

Released by Atari in 1986, Star Raiders II was initially designed as a video game based on the film The Last Starfighter. When that idea was eventually dropped the game was re-modelled into Star Raiders II.

What is interesting about this is that a separate game – a true sequel – was being developed as Star Raiders II in secret at Atari, but when the original designer was laid off, negotiations failed to reach a compromise and the game was never completed. The source code for this alternative Star Raiders II was released online (by the actual programmer himself) in 2015 and turns out to be far closer to the original, in terms of gameplay, than this version.

This Star Raiders II – by Gary Stark and Bruce Poehlman – is a decent enough game overall. Again: you’re fighting against the evil Zylons, this time in the Celos IV system, which has four planets and a number of moons to protect. Beating the Zylons means taking the battle to them, so finding and destroying their Attack Bases is priority.

Other than a star chart screen, pretty much everything else in Star Raiders II is handled inside the cockpit, meaning that there are no rear guns or other peripheral screens. I don’t know why, but I always feel disappointed if there are no rear guns in these games, possibly because they worked so well in the original Star Raiders.

More: Star Raiders II on Wikipedia

3 thoughts on “Star Raiders II, Atari 8-bit”

  1. I played this game as a teen-ager. The copy I had was titled Last Starfighter (May not have been that official of a copy). I loved that you could secure up you planets then go to their system and fight back. It was intense at the time and I still think of it.

    Liked by 1 person

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