Galaga ’90 (TG-16)

Galaga '90 Box Art

Galaga ‘90

System: TG-16

Release Date: December 1989

Developer: Namco

Publisher: NEC

Genre: Shoot ‘em Up

Galaga ‘90 is back as a sequel on the TurboGrafx-16. At this point, you’ve either played Galaga in one of its 10 million releases or you haven’t. There are waves of enemies that move back and forth at the top of the screen as you move back and forth on the bottom of the screen. Over 29 rounds, you try to blast the alien scum out existence, as they break formation and try to blast you or ram you into space dust.

Your first choice is to start the game as a single fighter or dual fighter. The single fighter gives you one extra life, but the dual fighter gives you more firepower. You can upgrade to the dual fighter during normal gameplay, if the Boss Galaga tractor beams you and then you kill him at the correct time. New to Galaga ‘90 is the ability to upgrade to a triple fighter. While the same size as the dual fighter, it packs even more firepower and makes it so you don’t want to lose it.

Every several rounds, you move to the bonus round of Galactic Dancing. Here the enemies move in specific patterns and you get to earn bonus points by killing as many as you can. There is also the ability to warp to different dimensions by collecting two blue capsules. The higher dimensions are harder and give more points for victory.

There are also vertical scrolling sections, new to the series. These play like you may expect and typically end with a boss battle. These guys are big and soak up a lot of hits. They also throw out smaller enemies at you to get in your way and make the fight more difficult.

Graphics: 1.5

There are a lot of colors, the sprites are more detailed than previously, and there are nice backgrounds.

Sound: 1.0

The song in the warp dimension is good, but the sound effects are still shrill and annoying.

Gameplay: 1.5

There hasn’t been any real growth in the gameplay except for the higher dimension scrolling levels and boss battles.

Difficulty: 2.5

You have to learn which enemies have to be killed before they trap you.

Fun Factor: 1.0

It’s not any more fun than older versions of the game.

Overall Grade: 1.5

Galaga ‘90 earns a C-. It’s better than the original, but not by much. There are much better shoot ‘em ups out there.

Galaga ’90 Video Review on YouTube