The original Metagalactic Llamas: Battle at the Edge of Time first came out for the VIC-20 in 1983. The Commodore 64 version was a later port, in 1984.
Metagalactic Llamas is a simple single-screen shooter where you control a llama at the bottom of the screen who can fire diagonally at spiders that move downward on their webs. A horizontal line on the screen changes the angle of your shot if you move it.
If you shoot a web the spider will fall, but you can try to shoot the falling spider before it hits the ground. A spider on the ground is more dangerous because you can’t shoot it directly. You can, however, use the wrap-around screen to avoid them, and also angle your diagonal shots so that they ricochet towards the ground and shoot the spiders. This is a key mechanic to surviving Jeff Minter‘s classic Metagalactic Llamas: Battle at the Edge of Time.
Like many of Minter‘s earlier games, Metagalactic Llamas is lean and mean and really booms out with its constant sound effects. The VIC-20 original is still pretty good to play now and has 32 levels of difficulty (choosable from the title screen by pressing F1), although the higher levels don’t seem to be as hectic as those in the Commodore 64 version.
Metagalactic Llamas: Battle at the Edge of Time is still a decent blast in this day and age, which is not something you can say about many VIC-20 games…