Abductor, VIC-20

Abductor is an early shoot ’em up from Jeff Minter and Llamasoft; releasing exclusively for the VIC-20 in 1983. The game is a sort of a cross between Galaxian and Defender, except that the aliens swoop down to try to take six arbitrary ‘men’ that you’re protecting. The unfortunate thing is that this idea doesn’t work that well in practise…

Protecting your men is interesting, but knowing how best to do it against this type of moving enemy is not clear and almost always leads to a frustrating quick loss of lives. The only way to survive is to carefully memorise where to position your ship during attack waves, and also to figure out some way of dealing with the “swoopers” – aliens trying to target and abduct your men.

After completing a certain number of waves your ship inexplicably grows in size, and the firepower it exerts also increases, and the game continues on with more attack waves. I guess this expanded ship is a reward for your efforts, but it came as a bit of a surprise to me!

Overall, Abductor is not a very good game. You spend most of your time shooting, missing attack waves, only to be immediately killed by something trying to abduct one of your men. It’s a frustrating, half-baked game that really isn’t worth your time.

More: Abductor on Moby Games

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