Also known as Defender II, Stargate is the 1981 sequel to Williams Electronics‘ Defender, which was released earlier the same year.
Stargate was designed and programmed by Eugene Jarvis and Larry DeMar of Vid Kidz, for Williams, and it features the same superfast blasting action as Defender, but with subtle differences.
There are a variety of new enemies in this game, including Firebombers, Yllabian Space Guppies, Dynamos, Phreds, Big Reds, Munchies and Space Hums – all of them not only lethal to the touch, but also usually with a trick up their sleeve if you shoot them (like the Pods, which, when shot, break into Swarmers and rapidly home in on you).
Same as in Defender: in Stargate your main job is to protect the humanoids that are scattered on the planet surface.
Alien Landers home in on the humanoids and will try to carry them away. An audible ‘cry’ from a humanoid under threat means that you must quickly find it and shoot the alien trying to abduct it. Luckily, this time you have a ‘Stargate‘ to get you there quickly – the square squiggly box thing; when you fly into it it teleports you immediately to a humanoid in distress, so you don’t have to hunt around for it.
If an alien Lander succeeds in carrying a humanoid away it will then turn into a faster and more aggressive Mutant alien and come looking for you.
Controlling your ship is via a less-than-intuitive up, down, thrust, and fire, rather than up, down, left, right and fire (which I’d much prefer), but then we’re talking about a 1981 arcade game here and these things are meant to be difficult to play. It’s the law…
Stargate is a classic arcade shoot ’em up. It’s as tough as nails. It’s simple. It’s pure. It’s timeless.
More: Stargate on Wikipedia